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Scientists Create First Commercially Viable Energy-Harvesting Clear Glass: Here's Why It's A Game-Changer [VIDEO]

Update Date: Mar 28, 2017 09:59 AM EDT
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Researchers led by Kamal Alameh from Edith Cowan University (ECU) have developed the first commercially viable energy-harvesting clear glass using special nanoparticles.

The first commercially viable energy-harvesting clear glass was developed at the Electron Science Research Institute at ECU in collaboration with ClearVue Technologies. Other similar products have been developed but they cannot function like the clear glass because they have either dots, horizontal lines or even a checkerboard pattern for them to harvest energy from sunlight, the PACE Today reported

What the clear glass does is filter the UV and infrared rays through the nanoparticles and route them to the solar cells that are at the edge of the glass. The solar cells then convert these to electricity. A square meter of this glass can churn out 30 watts of electricity.

The makers of the first commercially viable energy clear glass believe that their product is a game changer in terms of aesthetics and function. The users can use their product like a normal window while filtering out harmful wavelengths of light.

The glass can be used in greenhouses that can take in the maximum amount of sunlight possible and route the energy harvested to be used for its upkeep like temperature control or water irrigation, the ABC reported.

The new technology is a far departure from the old technology that can only produce electricity when the sun is shining and blocks out light. The collaborators hope to test the new development at the Changi Airport in Singapore after initial results in the self-sufficient bus stop shelter proved successful in Melbourne.

What the team of researchers wants to achieve eventually is energy self-reliance. To successfully get off the grid, there should be a collaboration of different sources of energy and renewable technologies. The energy that can be harvested from solar energy can be combined with energy-efficient building materials and incorporate ground-breaking designs from architects to achieve this dream.

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