Windows As Solar Collectors? Maybe

Now, this is very cool

Covalent Solar, a startup being spun out by teamat the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has yet another idea for concentrating solar photovoltaics: Layered glass with organic dyes that let some wavelengths of light through, and trap others, channeling the light to solar cells at the perimeter of the “panel”.

The concentrators, which would look a bit like windows, could be used as cheaper alternatives to rooftop solar panel installations. And unlike other concentrating panels, they would not require cooling, because the solar cells used can be specially made to capture light of the wavelength being sent to them.

 Oddly enough, a number of reports appearing today (for example, in the Associated Press) suggested that Covalent’s concentrators would be of use in actual windows, but co-founder John Mapel made no mention of that possibility when we talked last week. That’s no great surprise — it would be difficult to get high-intensity light into vertically-positioned windows, much less windows placed on the wrong side of a building.

That last part is the story I heard on the radio as it woke me up, so, apparently, the potential for using actual windows on the sides of homes may be a bit erroneous by the AP.

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