The basic concept of the transparent solar cell is that the transparent glass isn’t actually the solar cell. The glass is actually a transparent luminescent solar concentrator. It consists of organic salts which are complex cyanine derivatives fused with the glass. Cyanine is a synthetic dye which are used as fluorescent dyes in the biomedical imaging field, which are a shade of cyan as the name suggests and depending on the structure covers the IR to UV spectrum. Particular salt derivatives of the cyanine dye which are precipitated by its reaction with a base, are used to absorb the near infrared and ultra violet spectrum while allowing the visible light to pass through.This allows the glass to allow the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum to pass through but absorbs the ultraviolet and near infrared region which are invisible to the human eye. The cyanine derivative luminesce (emit) the absorbed energy in a different infrared frequencywhich is channeled to the edges of the glass by total internal reflection to the edges with the smaller surfaces which are lined with small scale conventionalphoto voltaic solar cells which is then converted to electricity.
3.1 WHERE IS IT HEADED?
The current TLSC has an efficiency of 1% and therefore has a long way to go become a useful addition. Lunt believes that it needs to be brought to a value of 10% before being effectively utilized to power buildings where they replace the glass windows. They believe they can currently bring it up to 5% and working to higher the efficiency by adding more effective layers which hamper the absorption and reduce energy leakage. At an efficiency of 5% the windows can be used to power LED lights that are present in that floor. At higher efficiencies they can add an effective contribution to reducing the fossil fuel dependency. As an added advantage it can also protect the interior from harmful UV rays which can cause skin problems. Researchers also believe that they can be used to replace the display screens of smartphones to power onboard electronics in combination with the Li-ion batteries to greatly increase the battery life of the heavy powered smartphones of this generation