Imagine a home or office building where the windows aren't just sources of light and views, but active generators of electricity.
Thanks to “power-generating glass,” this future is closer than you think thanks to research by Panasonic.
Panasonic's breakthrough ultra-thin perovskite-based solar cell technology, seamlessly embedded between sheets of glass, transform windows into transparent power hubs. This innovation, slated for release by 2028, not only marks progress in the solar industry but also underscores the incredible engineering and manufacturing feats that made it possible.
Perovskite solar cells, which utilize a mineral whose crystalline structures have excellent light-absorption properties, deliver higher efficiency at a fraction of the cost of conventional silicon-based cells. Their high absorption coefficient enables them to capture a broader spectrum of photon energies across the solar spectrum.
This translates into significantly higher energy yields compared to typical commercially available silicon counterparts. A further efficiency boost comes from combining multiple semiconductor materials with varying bandgaps, creating a particularly high performing structure known as a “tandem cell.”
Power-generating glass is as a testament to the potential of perovskite and tandem solar technologies. Boasting a conversion efficiency of 17.9%, independently verified by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory, these panels have set a new benchmark for perovskite modules exceeding 800 square centimeters in size.
Of course, developing perovskite solar cells has been a relentless pursuit filled with engineering and manufacturing challenges. Perovskite materials are sensitive to moisture and heat, posing a significant challenge in achieving long-term stability. Enhancing their resilience under real-world conditions was one impetus for Panasonic's power-generating glass: placing the cells between glass not only provides an application for windows, but also a protective environment for the structures themselves.
Scaling manufacturing and implementation of the glass also pose hurdles. Moving from lab-scale to large-scale manufacturing presents formidable scalability issues, and wide use of power-generating glass will require navigating regulatory, certification, and standardization processes.
To validate the technology, test its capacity to achieve uniformity and high efficiency in mass production, and provide more data from real-world applications, Panasonic has integrated power-generating glass into a model house in the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Over a year-long monitoring period, the panels' performance will be meticulously observed, providing invaluable insights to refine and optimize this visionary technology. The testing phase concludes on November 29, 2024.
Perovskite and tandem solar technologies signify a quantum leap in implementation of renewable energy technology in widely-used building materials such as windows as well as a resounding victory over formidable engineering and manufacturing challenges. At Crowley Law, we wholeheartedly acknowledge the transformative potential of these breakthroughs and are poised to be your steadfast allies in driving the sustainable energy movement forward. Our seasoned legal experts are well-prepared to provide comprehensive support to tech companies, fortifying their intellectual property and adeptly navigating the legal intricacies of emerging technologies.
Reach out to us today by phone at 844-256-5891 or via email at [email protected] to explore how we can assist you in realizing your own cutting-edge technology.