Near term Transparent solar power windows could provide 60-90% of the energy for a high rise building

Oxford PV is developing and commercialising thin-film perovskite solar cells, which can be printed directly onto silicon solar cells, CIGS solar cells or glass. This will drive a paradigm shift in the aesthetics, performance and cost of both current solar panels and Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) systems.

Perovskite materials have astounded the solar cell community with a steep rise in efficiency from ~4% in 2010 to a certified efficiency of 20.1% (NREL) in 2014- already surpassing many other solar technologies.

To reach this remarkable efficiency in such a short time, many iterations of the cell architecture were trialled through to the current planar thin-film devices – more akin to other thin-film technologies.

Perovskite solar cells are already performing at 17% in the laboratory. We expect to see single-junction perovskite solar cells reach 25% cell efficiency within a few years. For a tandem perovskite/perovskite solar cell 30% is quite possible within the same timeline.

At 20% efficiency a 35 story office building with all semi-transparent Perovskite solar cells would get 60% of its power from the windows.

Ubitquitous Energy (an MIT spinoff startup) is working on fuly transparent solar power from organic materials that absorb UV and Infrared wavelengths.

About The Author