Energy / Climate Change

August 13, 2003


Transparent Ultraviolet Solar Cell Developed

Keywords: Environmental Technology Renewable Energy University / Research institute 

Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has succeeded in developing a prototype of a transparent solar cell that uses ultraviolet light to generate electricity but allows visible light to pass through it.

While the prototype solar cell is only 0.1 square centimeters in size, AIST plans to develop it to a larger size so that conventional glass windows can be replaced by solar cell panels of this type.

Most conventional solar cells use visible and infrared light to generate electricity. In contrast, the innovative new solar cell uses ultraviolet radiation, which is hazardous to human health, while transmitting visible light, opening up potential lighting applications. By adding infrared reflection, solar panels of this material could also have a valuable function in controlling temperature.

With these features, this solar cell can effectively utilize over 50 percent of sunlight. At only three percent, the electrical power generation efficiency of these cells is low. But if used to replace conventional window glass, the installation surface area could be large, leading to potential uses that take advantage of the combined functions of power generation, lighting and temperature control.

Posted: 2003/08/13 08:46:01 AM
Japanese version