UCLA researchers have developed a new transparent solar cell that is an advance toward giving windows in homes and other buildings the ability to generate electricity while still allowing people to see outside. Their study appears in the journal ACS Nano.Very cool. It's developments like this - not more drilling - that can most effectively and permanently decrease dependence on foreign oil.
The UCLA team describes a new kind of polymer solar cell (PSC) that produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light, not visible light, making the cells nearly 70% transparent to the human eye. They made the device from a photoactive plastic that converts infrared light into an electrical current.
"These results open the potential for visibly transparent polymer solar cells as add-on components of portable electronics, smart windows and building-integrated photovoltaics and in other applications..."
More at the UCLA Newsroom and the Reddit discussion.