Spray-on film turns glass into solar panels

Norwegian company EnSol is working on a thin film solar cell technology designed to be sprayed onto any glass surface.

spray-on solar film
Testing EnSol's spray-on film inside a deposition chamber. EnSol

If the very idea of a spray-on film that can turn windows into solar collectors sounds too good to be true, think again. After all, Japan's University of Tokyo did come up with a Wi-Fi-blocking paint, while a number of companies including Konarka have developed solar cells that sit within the window.

Pushing the envelope on solar panel technology is Norwegian company EnSol, which has patented a prototype thin film solar cell technology designed to be sprayed onto any glass surface. In fact, plans are afoot for a thicker solution to coat exterior walls or be used in the form of "clip-together" solar roof tiles. If this technology works as planned, it could take away the need to plonk big solar panels on rooftops, particularly in industrial settings.

Unlike traditional silicon-based solar cells, EnSol's film uses metal nanoparticles embedded in a transparent composite matrix. Ensol's collaboration with the University of Leicester's Department of Physics and Astronomy could have the product seeing the commercial light of day by 2016.

(Source: Crave Asia via Gizmag)

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