New opportunities to create advanced photovoltaics have been created by a team of scientists who have developed a ‘double-glazing’ solar power device. Researchers at Warwick University have made a device that collects solar energy using gas from double-glazed windows. This opens up the possibility that people could one day power their homes with their own windows.
The new device collects solar energy by using gas instead of vacuum to collect electricity. The developers are Dr Yorck Ramachers and Dr Gavin Bell, and the pair have used what is in effect a double-glazed window to collect the solar energy.
The secret lies in the outer pane, which conducts electricity. There is also an inner window, which acts as the photocathode. It is coated with a substance which becomes a source of electrons when it receives sunlight.
The whole process is inspired by early 20th-century ideas. However, the two panes of glass are separated by gas in the same way that panes are separated in double glazing. The gas is inert and totally safe. When the sun lands on the panes, the electrons created are bounced through the glass without being absorbed.
Double-Glazing Solar Power
This interesting new development means the windows act in a totally new way to existing solar panels. This opens up the opportunities for regular houses to be fitted with this type of window to create energy. It is also possible to vary the transparency of the photocathode, which means that tinted windows could also potentially generate solar power.
In the future it is likely that window companies, such as a double glazing company in Evesham, would be able to fit doubled-glazed windows with this solar power option. Indeed, solar power is the fastest growing source of new energy.Firmfix are a local double glazing company near Evesham, and in the future you may be able to get in touch with them to request solar energy double-glazed windows in any home or business address.
The researchers are currently seeking the right material for the device, and one potential candidate is diamond film. The scientists are open to suggestions from the wider scientific community about the optimum material. So this device is still in development, but it looks promising that a new phase in solar energy is on its way.