NREL develops switchable solar windows

  Energy saving

Switchable photovoltaic windows have been developed by scientists at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Thermochromic windows capable of converting sunlight into electricity at a high efficiency have been developed by NREL
The US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed thermochromic windows capable of converting sunlight into electricity at a high efficiency. During demonstrations, the device dynamically responds to sunlight by transforming from transparent to tinted while converting sunlight into electricity.
Relying on such advanced materials as perovskites and single-walled carbon nanotubes, the new technology responds to heat by transforming from transparent to tinted. As the window darkens, it generates electricity. The colour change is driven by molecules (methylamine) that are reversibly absorbed into the device.
When solar energy heats up the device, the molecules are driven out, and the device is darkened. When the sun is not shining, the device is cooled back down, and the molecules re-absorb into the window device, which then appears transparent. 
The NREL-developed demonstration device allows an average of 68% of light in the visible portion of the solar spectrum to pass through when it’s in a transparent, or bleached, state. When the window changes colour – a process that took about 3 minutes of illumination during testing – only 3% is allowed through the window.
Existing solar window technologies are static, which means they are designed to harness a fraction of the sunlight without sacrificing too much visible light transmission needed for viewing or the comfort of building occupants.
“There is a fundamental trade-off between a good win...
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