In 2014, researchers at the Michigan State University began work to produce transparent solar panels that could be installed into buildings, including our homes, that will produce renewable energy and will also be used as windows.

This innovative technology, if successful, may allow our windows to produce renewable energy from the light they let pass through. Allowing us to use the energy generated to power our homes and offices. These transparent solar panels, as they will be put in the place of a window, will allow light to pass through.

…allow our windows to produce
renewable energy from the light…

Light contains photons, these photons are absorbed by the panels from the light to produce renewable energy. In order to do this the solar panel will only absorb the photons from certain wavelengths that our eyes cannot see, such as the ultraviolet and infrared waves, in order for light to still pass through.

Transparent solar panels built in Japan, by Professor Toshiaki Kato and his colleagues, have the ability to let through 79% of light. This is a step forward in this technology, in previous years, Professor Jacek Jasieniak, a scientist at the Australia’s Monash University, and his colleagues engineered a transparent solar panel that only allowed 10%–52% of light through.

This technology is already being put to use at the Copenhagen International School. The school has installed around 12,000 transparent solar panels that are currently producing 200 MWh annually, which equates to roughly half of the energy needed to run the school.