New Energy Unveils 'Spraying' Solar Cells Technology

At New Energy Technologies, Inc., researchers have developed a patent-pending process for "spraying" solar cells and their related components onto glass – a technical achievement recently presented in a AZoNano’s (peer-reviewed, Journal of Nanotechnology Online; in December), article, “New Energy Achieves Major ‘Transparency’ Breakthrough in Development of See-Thru Windows Capable of Generating Electricity.”

“The ability to spray solar coatings directly onto glass follows on the heels of our recent breakthrough which replaced visibility-blocking metal with environmentally friendly see-thru compounds and marks an important advance in the development of our see-thru glass windows capable of generating electricity,” announced Meetesh V. Patel, president and chief executive officer of New Energy Technologies, Inc.

“In commercial terms, this new spray technology could translate into important manufacturing advantages for our SolarWindow™, including significant cost-savings, high-speed production, and room-temperature deposition – common barriers to commercial success for innovative solar technologies.”

Once scaled-up for use in commercial production, researchers anticipate the ability to spray solar coatings directly onto New Energy’s see-thru SolarWindow™, currently under development.

The production of solar-generated electricity on glass is made possible by the world’s tiniest working solar cells, which along with their related components, have now been successfully sprayed on to glass surfaces by researchers currently developing the company’s SolarWindow™.

These ultra-small solar cells measure less than one-fourth the size of a grain of rice, are fabricated using environmentally friendly materials, and successfully produce electricity, as demonstrated in a published peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy of the American Institute of Physics.

Unique performance properties of the ultra-small solar cells enable development of an ultra-thin film, only 1/1000th the thickness of a human hair, or 1/10th of a micrometer. In photovoltaic applications such as see-thru windows, where transparency is a primary concern, today’s thin film solar cells simply cannot be utilized to produce a transparent solar window for application in homes, offices, and commercial buildings.

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