Reports suggest that in approximately 33 years, urban areas worldwide would require space for an additional 2.5 billion people. Big cities already require 60-80% of the world’s energy consumption and 75% of the planet’s total carbon dioxide emissions. As urbanization is happening at an increasing speed, it is creating pressure on new forms of renewable energy to meet people's needs.
As a saving grace, the amount of energy present in the sun’s rays (that reaches the planet) in just one hour is more than what is consumed by the whole world in a year. The technology that enables harnessing solar energy is advancing at a fast pace. As a result, PV windows are gaining popularity as they can produce energy at the precise point where it is needed, that is, in the big cities. Moreover, it also does not affect the aesthetic of the buildings.
Now, the researchers are working on developing energy-producing windows that are transparent as well as efficient. This is being done under EU project CITYSOLAR and may come to be a massive advancement in World Energy Solar Market as it might cause a significant shift towards green transition.
CITYSOLAR project’s objective is to change the market for transparent solar cells in windows. Big cities have many high-rise buildings with large facades having sun-shielding glass situated over them to protect the indoors from overheating while also reflecting the sun. The team has suggested that instead of sun rays being reflected, they should be used for energy production. This will make the windows a sort of little power plant while constructing the buildings' energy neutral.
The windows that produce electrical power are referred to as ‘photovoltaic windows’ and are already present in the market. However, this new concept of transparent solar windows cannot be mass-produced as of yet. The core problems lie in two opposite forces that the team wants to achieve, i.e., efficiency and transparency. The transparent PV windows could not absorb electricity in large quantities until now, and this project is set on changing that.
CITYSOLAR project will produce a tandem creation of organic solar cells and perovskite. The mineral perovskite is very cheap and tremendously efficient if the task of changing the sun’s rays into electricity is considered. This is also the case when the ultraviolet part of the light spectrum is taken into account. The windows will use organic solar cells that have several unique characteristics. They are transparent, flexible as well as environmentally friendly. Moreover, they are relatively cheap to produce.
There is enormous hope that this project will be successful as the best researchers are involved along with leading companies in the industry.
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