The Loh Down On Science

Wonder Windows

Finally! A cure for lazy windows!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Why do our windows just sit there, when they could be, oh, making energy?

Thank goodness for Yang Yang and his team at ULCA. They’ve developed a transparent film that can be placed on glass to capture sunlight and turn it into power.

Yang says his polymer solar cell is suitable for windows in cars, homes, and high-rise buildings.

This new type of cell has electrified the energy community because it’s lightweight and flexible, and can be mass-produced cheaply.

Yang’s cell uses silver nanowires about one-thousandth the size of a human hair. It has titanium nanoparticles rather than opaque metal as its electrodes. This, and the fact that it converts non-visible infrared light, while letting visible light pass through, makes the cell almost transparent.

At present it converts only about four percent of captured light into energy, well below the approximately ten percent needed to make it commercially viable, But Yang thinks he’s got the energy to get there.

Now that’s what I call a power window. Get it? Power window?

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC Pasadena. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.?


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