Digital Trends's Chloe Olewitz presents a new breakthrough in solar cell technology: A research team from Michigan State University has created a completely transparent solar panel.

Until now, solar cells have only been semi-transparent or tinted, but these new cells are so clear that they are indistinguishable from glass. 

To achieve a truly transparent solar cell, the Michigan State team created this thing called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator (TLSC), which employs organic salts to absorb wavelengths of light that are already invisible to the human eye. Steering clear of the fundamental challenges of creating a transparent photovoltaic cell allowed the researchers to harness the power of infrared and ultraviolet light.

Sounds cool, but what does this mean for the future of solar technology? This breakthrough could be the beginning of a world where windows, panes of glass, and possibly even entire buildings could generate solar energy. 

Researchers on the Michigan State team believe their TLSC technology could span from industrial applications to more manageable uses like consumer devices and handheld gadgets. Their main priorities in continuing to develop the technology appear to be power efficiency and maintaining a scalable level of affordability, so that solar power can continue to grow as a major player in the field of renewable energy.
Read more >