Solar Panel Windows Tint panes, Produce PowerA new German startup has managed to create a nifty new form of solar panel, one that can be used as a window pane. Having more in common with an OLED display like the one found in your smartphone than a normal solar panel, these panels are lighter and flexible.
Heliatek is the company behind the panels. Right now, the panels are being produced as a proof-of-concept for scaled-up delivery down the road, with the company running off of 28 million euros invested by various high tech companies.
The panels are actually uniformly translucent.
"It's like tinted windows, only these windows generate electricity,"Said Thibaud de Séguillon, Heliatek’s CEO.
Heliatek’s solar panels are the first generation of organic solar panels to be commercially viable. While the technology has been around for decades, hinting at the promise of cheap and easy to produce solar panels, the lifespans of the panels and the low level of efficiency have kept them from seeing much development. And Heliatek’s first few models don’t nearly match the efficiency of more traditional panels; right now, they can only convert 8% of the light that hits them.
But their flexibility means that they can be integrated into buildings with little added work. Imagine, for example, a building where all the windows generate electricity. That would be a major boon and not needing new structures could make a retrofit quick and easy.
Heliatek is facing some major challenges getting to market, but its technology could change the world if it does. Heliatek promises cheap, easy, flexible solar panels. and they hope to prove that solar efficiency isn’t everything.