Solar-Powered Home, No Panels Needed

July 14, 2008

Saw an intersting article in Huffington Post green section. Thought I would share it with you.

July 10, 2008


A “solar concentrator” might sound like something an evil genius comes up with to destroy the Big City in a comic book, but it’s actually a way to make solar power more accessible. Engineers at in MIT’s electrical engineering and computer science department recently made it possible for regular old windows to harness solar energy and power a building with it.

Marc Baldo, associate professor of electrical engineering at MIT, led a team of scientists that used special dyes to coat the windows, which helps them effectively absorb the light. The light is then successfully collected around the window edges by solar cells (see the rad photo). Baldo and his team knew solar collectors had been used in large, pricey mirror setups, and thought they could work on a smaller scale.

In an article set to be published in tomorrow’s issue of Science, Baldo reports that solar collectors increase the amount of electricity a solar cell can harness by a factor of over 40, and they can make existing solar panel systems 50 percent more efficient. Those are some sunny numbers. That efficiency could make solar power cheaper. In addition, three grad students from the research team are starting their own company, called Covalent Solar–gotta love that name–to bring this technology to a store near you. I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for it…after I figure out how to get my windows to close completely.

To learn more about the growing solar opportunities email

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