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Published on September 17th, 2009 | by Jeff Kart

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GreenSun Develops Colorful Solar Panels that don’t need Direct Sunlight



 

Update (May 2011): a new type of semi-transparent, colored solar panels that can be used in place of windows, roofs, and walls has been developed by Qsolar.

Solar power comes in many forms, from rigid to thin film. The panels are shiny, gleaming and ready to harness the power of the sun.
 

 
They’re also usually silver. Yet they also come in colors, not just for looks, but for efficiency.

A Jerusalem company called GreenSun has developed bright-colored panels. Officials say the hues capture different parts of sun’s spectrum, and don’t need direct sunlight to work, according to National Geographic News.

The colored collectors are still in development, but the company says its panels will cost less than a buck per watt to manufacture, compared to more than $4 a watt for conventional solar.

The technology is based on concentrating visible and ultraviolet light without concentrating heat, which reduces the performance of conventional cells. GreenSun also says its panels only require 20 percent silicon, with a conversion rate of up to 20 percent, or up to twice as much as commercial panels now on the market.

The secret is the edges, The Economist explains.

“Traditional solar cells are made of thin sheets of the element covered by glass plates. In GreenSun’s cells, though, only the outer edges of the glass plates are covered by silicon, in the form of thin strips. The trick is to get the light falling on the glass to diffuse sideways to the edges, so that the silicon can turn it into electricity.”

GreenSun does this this by coating the glass “with a combination of dyes and sprinkling it with nanoparticles of a metal whose nature they are not yet willing to disclose,” according to the report.

If this works, it could brighten up the solar market in more ways than one.

(Image Credit: GreenSun Energy)

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About the Author

is typing about issues in the Great Lakes, from advanced biofuels to zero-emission vehicles. Jeff is an environmental journalist and social media evangelist based in Michigan, where the summers are short, the winters are cold, and the stories are plentiful.



  • archie

    Hey, you should really, really let surfers SEE your website before you rudely ask for an email address. Terrible web design. Terrible.

  • احمد حسن

    it will increase power by only 20% do not worth investment,and there nosecret in this plexi glass

  • http://www.homes-and-interiors.com/planet-green.html Planet Green

    It’s very innovative.

  • Anumakonda Jagadeesh

    Excellent innovation to boost up solar energy.

    Dr.A.Jagadeesh  Nellore(AP),India

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    Hi, thank you for sharing this great info. Was just browsing through the net in my office and happened upon your blog. It is really very well written and quit comprehensive in explaining with a very simple language.

  • solar collectors

    It’s Great! i really appreciate your work,Keep it up.

  • http://www.concernergy.com/ Robert Mathew

    Excellent Innovation!!I am always prefer solar energy.

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  • http://solar.calfinder.com/blog Taylen Peterson

    Great post, we did something like this just a bit ago and it really is getting exciting thinking about the solar tech they are finding!

  • http://solar.calfinder.com/blog Taylen Peterson

    Great post, we did something like this just a bit ago and it really is getting exciting thinking about the solar tech they are finding!

  • Christian

    Since when do solar panels need direct sunlight? Solar thermal power plants do but photovoltaic systems don’t. On the other hand, solar thermal energy can be stored and released say at night while this is a problem for photovoltaics.

  • Christian

    Since when do solar panels need direct sunlight? Solar thermal power plants do but photovoltaic systems don’t. On the other hand, solar thermal energy can be stored and released say at night while this is a problem for photovoltaics.

  • Ukrainian

    A lot of ideas of solar energy. I think in short we will generate a big part of world energy by solar transformers. Very good.

  • Ukrainian

    A lot of ideas of solar energy. I think in short we will generate a big part of world energy by solar transformers. Very good.

  • http://spacehabitat.blogspot.com/ Nicholas

    Chrisp68, pay more attention: although they appear similar, the two technologies are different!

  • http://spacehabitat.blogspot.com/ Nicholas

    Chrisp68, pay more attention: although they appear similar, the two technologies are different!

  • http://serinadruid.stumbleupon.com/ serinadruid

    Well chrisp68 maybe this “old news” needs to be told again, perhaps it needs more exposure as good ideas often do, the image appears to be new and not the same one from the old site you linked to.

    I am ALL for this! I love solar energy ideas!

  • http://serinadruid.stumbleupon.com/ serinadruid

    Well chrisp68 maybe this “old news” needs to be told again, perhaps it needs more exposure as good ideas often do, the image appears to be new and not the same one from the old site you linked to.

    I am ALL for this! I love solar energy ideas!

  • chrisp68

    This is old news… see Technology Review article from last July. Get up to speed Jeff.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/21066/page1/

  • chrisp68

    This is old news… see Technology Review article from last July. Get up to speed Jeff.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/21066/page1/

  • MD

    That is very neat – You could make a stained glass window that not only looks cool, it also provides energy.

  • MD

    That is very neat – You could make a stained glass window that not only looks cool, it also provides energy.

  • http://personalwebguide.com/ Travis

    Cool to see this happening, as I’m a big fan of solar energy.

  • http://personalwebguide.com/ Travis

    Cool to see this happening, as I’m a big fan of solar energy.

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