Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Green Economy

Government Scientists Put See-Through Solar Windows on the Fast Track

nrel and new energy technologies develop see through solar coating for windows
A company called New Energy Technologies, Inc. is getting a little help from the federal government to push its new transparent solar window coating out of the lab and into the hands of building owners. That help comes in the form of government researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, as part of an ambitious program to help start-ups and other companies get new solar technologies off the ground, create more green jobs, and lower the cost of installed solar energy.

New Energy’s New Solar Coating

The new coating, which New Energy calls SolarWindow, is designed for use on transparent glass in both commercial buildings and homes. Under an agreement with NREL, federal scientists have been working to develop a more efficient prototype, by increasing the number of working solar cells that contact the surface area. Other recent advances in the technology include increasing the size of the windows (the largest so far is one foot square), and developing less expensive coating materials.

Spray-On Solar Coatings

New Energy’s technology joins a growing list of solar inks and sprays that have the potential to lower the cost of installed solar energy. A couple of other examples are Innovalight’s solar ink “tattoo,” and a spray-on solar paint under development at the University of Texas. Scientists at other Department of Energy laboratories are also working on new see-through thin film solar technology that could be applied to windows.

Pesky Government Scientists

The latest employment stats provide a glimmer of hope that the private sector is finally starting to go to work in terms of investing in future economic enterprises. In the meantime, companies with promising breakthrough technologies like SolarWindow are relying on public sector investment to get their innovations into production. There’s nothing new here: for generations, the fossil fuel industry has relied on public sector support to deliver (relatively) cheap, abundant fuel, so it seems fair enough to help launch new low-cost energy technologies with equal, if not more, enthusiasm.

Image: Windows on wikimedia by Gryffindor.

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Advertisement
 
Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

Comments

You May Also Like

Biomass

Lithuania is the first nation in the world to adopt the LA100 renewable energy model developed by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory for...

Biomass

Algae biofuel could have another moment in the sun, now that more federal dollars are pouring into carbon capture-and-recycling technology.

Clean Power

The US wave energy startup CalWave is determined to solve the global warming crisis, one little blue box at a time.

Agriculture

Agrivoltaics can help solve a trifecta of issues impacting agriculture in the US and elsewhere: energy, revenue, and water.

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.