Climate change and global warming are unstoppable, which requires people to change their ways by going away from using fossil fuels to a more efficient energy source of green energy. For some time now, scientists have been trying to develop transparent solar cells that may soon be used in various devices, including buildings, vehicles, and smartphones.

Its technology is somewhat similar to solar cells, but the only difference is that they are transparent. In that way, building windows will still look like windows but, at the same time, is capable of harnessing energy from the sun.

These versions, called transparent photovoltaic (TPV) devices, are versions of the traditional solar cell that use the invisible light, which is the ultraviolet (UV) range.

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Transparent Solar Cells

The traditional solar cells can either be solution-based, considered the wet type, or made up of metal-oxide semiconductors, which is the dry type. Between the two, the dry type has a slight advantage over the wet type solar cells because it is more eco-friendly, cost-effective, and the metal-oxides are well-suited to use UV light.

EurekaAlert reported that scientists from Incheon National University in the Republic of Korea have come up with an innovative way of harnessing the potential of metal-oxide TPVs by inserting an ultra-thin layer of silicone between two transparent metal-oxide conductors. 

"Our aim was to devise a high-power-producing transparent solar cell, by embedding an ultra-thin film of amorphous Si between zinc oxide and nickel oxide," said Professor Joondong Kim, the study lead author.

Their paper published in Nano Energy last August 10, ahead of its schedule this December, described how their technology of transparent solar cells works.

According to their study, the transparent solar cells have three advantages: One, it allowed the utilization of UV rays, unlike the conventional TPVs; two, it efficiently collected the sun's rays; and lastly, it enables a faster transport of energy to the electrodes. Also, transparent solar cells can generate electricity even during cloudy and rainy days or in times of low light situations.

The researchers hope that their novel technology can be of use to the real world. They look forward to the day that its use can be extended to other devices like the glass of the buildings, mobile devices, cars, and sensors. 

Most importantly, the researchers are excited to proceed to the next step of using innovative materials in improving their study's design by using 2D semiconductors, metal-oxide nanocrystals, and sulfide semiconductors. 

Professor Kim concluded that their research is for the green future to connect the clean system with little to zero carbon footprint.

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Personalized Energy

Personalized energy is generated from solar energy that is enough for any individual or location's required amount of energy. Such use of personalized energy will start revolutionary energy consumption and allow a more level playing field for everyone.

For some time now, many experts have become interested in personalized energy as it is useful for cost savings and as a backup as well in case the distributed power from powerplants gets cut. It moves away from the main source of energy from large remote powerplants to smaller and local plants.

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