Dyed panels for concentrating solar

A team from MIT may have developed a cost-effective solar collector system for buildings. It consists of panes of glass coated with particular dyes. Each pane collects light in a specific range of wavelengths and delivers it to a relatively small area of solar cells. As such, the technology would replace some relatively expensive photovoltaic components with cheaper glass ones. It would also do away with the need for moving sun-tracking mirrors.

As with many human innovations, there is a natural precedent. Photosynthetic pigments in chloroplasts help to capture the light used in photosynthesis. They too differ in colour depending on the peak wavelength being targeted, thus explaining why you can have your algae in red, brown, yellow-green, etc.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

2 thoughts on “Dyed panels for concentrating solar”

  1. Solar energy in Israel
    It’s a knockout
    Jul 23rd 2009 | JERUSALEM
    From The Economist print edition
    Two novel approaches to making electricity from sunlight

    The physicists and chemists at GreenSun Energy, led by Renata Reisfeld, think the way is to use less silicon. Traditional solar cells are made of thin sheets of the element covered by glass plates. In GreenSun’s cells, though, only the outer edges of the glass plates are covered by silicon, in the form of thin strips. The trick is to get the light falling on the glass to diffuse sideways to the edges, so that the silicon can turn it into electricity. Dr Reisfeld’s team do this by coating the glass with a combination of dyes and sprinkling it with nanoparticles of a metal whose nature they are not yet willing to disclose.

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