A new type of window developed by scientists works sort of like transitions lenses—the ones you can wear indoors or outdoors without scrambling between clear and tinted glasses in order to see—but the device generates electricity. And, it could help power your home, car, or entire office building one day.
These windows are dubbed “thermochromic” for their ability to change colors in response to heat.
Lance M. Wheeler, lead author of the study published in Nature Communications last Thursday, told Newsweek: “You can imagine that…any photovoltaic window technology has this sort of fundamental trade-off between a good window and a good solar cell because a good solar cell or solar panel is something that absorbs light very well but if you absorb all the light, nothing comes through the window.”
“It certainly has this double benefit” he said “One, of converting energy, and two, of sort of mitigating solar heat gain. It’s a one-two punch.”
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Image: National Renewable Energy Laboratory