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Current issue

ELEKTRO 1/2018 was released on January 16th 2018. Its digital version will be available on February 12th 2018.

Topic: Electrotechnology; Materials for electrical engineering; Wiring material

Main Article
A new electrical insulating fluid and its possible deployment in practice

SVĚTLO (Light) 6/2017 was released on December 11th 2017. Its digital version will be available on january 11th 2018.

Lighting installations
The lighting of university building Centrale Supélec in Saclay in France
The light for our future

Daylight
Application and judgment light guides Solatube®

Dream of energy-collecting windows is one step closer to reality

22.02.2017 | University of Minnesota | twin-cities.umn.edu

Researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of Milano-Bicocca are bringing the dream of windows that can efficiently collect solar energy one step closer to reality thanks to high-tech silicon nanoparticles.

Windows that can collect solar energy, called photovoltaic windows, are the next frontier in renewable energy technologies, as they have the potential to largely increase the surface of buildings suitable for energy generation without impacting their aesthetics—a crucial aspect, especially in metropolitan areas.

Photovoltaic windows

The idea of solar concentrators and solar cells integrated into building design has been around for decades, but this study included one key difference—silicon nanoparticles. Until recently, the best results had been achieved using relatively complex nanostructures based either on potentially toxic elements, such as cadmium or lead, or on rare substances like indium, which is already massively utilized for other technologies.

Researchers say the optical features of silicon nanoparticles and their nearly perfect compatibility with the industrial process for producing the polymer LSCs create a clear path to creating efficient photovoltaic windows that can capture more than 5 percent of the sun’s energy at unprecedented low costs.

Read more at University of Minnesota

Image Credit: Uwe Kortshagen

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