Solar cell glazing replaces window glass with a semi-transparent photovoltaic panel. One company in the UK who is working on the technology, is Oxford Photovoltaics. The company have developed thin-film, dye-sensitised solar cells that can be printed onto glass and other surfaces.
The glazing panels are semi-transparent, and made in a variety of colours and tints. Oxford Photovoltaics chief executive Kevin Arthur says the manufacturing cost of the product is half that of today’s lowest-cost thin-film technology.
“We’re using the simplest screen printing processes to make a product from readily available, low-cost ‘ingredients’, that can be scaled up quickly on a substrate [glass] that people prefer to use,” Arthur says.
“Adding the photovoltaic layer to a window would represent a fairly trivial additional cost and in return you would get electrical energy and lower the building’s carbon footprint.”