Transparent Solar Panels – What it is and how it works?

Transparent Luminescent Solar Cell
Image Courtesy: Michigan State University
2 mins read

Yes, you have heard it right. You can have see through solar panels using transparent solar cells. A remarkable achievement by the team of Michigan State University researchers led by Richard Lunt. Transparent solar cells can generated electricity when used on a window without disrupting the view.

Accepted widely now that the main reason for global warming is growing emissions of greenhouse gases. Rising concerns about the effects of global warming lead to new innovations in Solar Energy technology. Solar energy is the clean energy source.


Researchers from Michigan State University (MSU), led by Richard Lunt developed see-through solar cells. Instead of developing transparent solar cells they create transparent luminescent solar concentrator.

How Transparent Solar Cell works?

It uses a glass which is actually a transparent luminescent solar concentrator. It uses organic molecules developed by Richard Lunt and his team in order to absorb invisible wavelengths of sunlight. So, these organic molecules absorb the specific non-visible wavelength of ultraviolet and infrared light. The electrons of organic molecules are excited by the energy of radiation and jump to a higher level. When they settle to their ground state, energy is released in the form of infrared radiation (glowing or luminescent) of different wavelength (non-visible). This emitted infrared light is guided through the edge of the plastic, where the strips of conventional photo voltaic solar cell convert it into electricity.

Transparent Solar Cell

You can see blacks strips along the edge of the plastic block.

Where you can use Transparent Solar cell harvesting technology?

When TLSC placed on window creates solar energy without disrupting the view. The thin plastic like material is feasible on buildings, cars windows, cell phones or other devices with a clear surface, says Lunt and his team.

Future Goals

The efficiency of TLSC is currently around 1%. Lunt and his team are working on increasing efficiency up to 10%.

Richard Lunt and his team carried out marvelous job. Hats off!!!!



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