Just when you thought it was safe to go all gloom 'n doom about the planet, some MIT folks have come up with a coating that lets windows double as solar collectors.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a system that turns windows into a solar collector, letting people see clearly while collecting energy.
A coating on the glass channels photons of light to a solar collector around the edge of the window, MIT electrical engineer Marc Baldo and colleagues report in Friday's edition of the journal Science.
The window coating absorbs the light and transmits it to the glass underneath. The glass then transmits the energy to solar cells at the window's edge. The coating comes in various colors or "almost transparent."
Per the Science article authors, the technology is not that expensive and can be added to existing solar panels. The Yahoo arrticle did not clarify this point--by hooking up window edge collectors to exisitng systems (not existing panels--don't see the point). I am a layperson--maybe someone else can jump in?
best news is that the technology may be market-ready within 3 years. Given the price of oil, I wouldn't be surprised if they rushed it to market even quicker than that.
I'm always happy with new solar news, and this seems as if it may be more helpful than the solar bra and solar pet clothes (I kid you not) that I've seen discussed on the Web recently.
Hooray for alternative energy!