Solar Powered Windows Generate Electricity

Date Added: 8/26/2015, by 

Solar powered windows that generate electricity without spoiling the view? That’s the stuff of science fiction, right? Not anymore. Two groups of researchers — one in the US and another in Italy — have created functioning prototypes for solar powered windows that look clear but harvest electricity from the sunlight passing through them.

First, the Bellingham Herald reports that a team of 8 students at Western Washington University have won a $75.000 grant from the EPA to develop their “Smart Solar Window,” a unit that looks clear but turns ultraviolet light into electricity. That power can reduce a building’s heating and cooling costs up to 30 percent by automatically opening and closing windows to aid cooling and ventilation. The system can be operated remotely from a phone, computer or ventilation system.

The team — composed of graduate and undergraduate students from the departments of chemistry, engineering, design, and business and economics — has been working on the window for the past year. Student project leader James Kintzele says their window required the combined strengths of an interdisciplinary team.

Solar Powered Windows Generate Electricity

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