Photovoltaic Quantum Windows – Energy of the Future for Your Home
Glass that gives electricity – photovoltaic windows
Imagine that in a few years our electricity bills will fall by several dozen percent, and all this thanks to replacing ordinary windows with nanoPV windows. What is the nanoPV window? At first glance, it will not differ from the ordinary window. Transparent, providing thermal insulation and completely safe to use, however, will be much more than just a window – it will be our private power plant. Windows that power our phone, laptop, fridge is not a distant future is the present.
The demand for electricity is constantly growing, more and more of our lives depend on devices that require power. And here new technologies and science come to help. Electric current can be produced wherever we have light. The future is transparent photovoltaic cells, which have been in the area of interest for many years, and the prospect of their use would completely change the approach to renewable energy sources. The materials used in photovoltaics so far did not allow this goal to be achieved. Solar always associated us with dark links, which is hard to imagine as a substitute for an ordinary glass, so they are installed in specially prepared structures only in the right places (on the roofs, in front of the buildings, etc.). Only the latest scientific achievements in the field of nanomaterials open up new possibilities. The use of window surfaces, glazing on buildings, thanks to the use of nanomaterials becomes finally possible. Innovative material – quantum dots, which are increasingly replacing other materials in many areas, such as electronics, medicine, biotechnology, and revolutionizing photovoltaics. Their use in photovoltaics seems to be a necessity given their unique properties.
Quantum dots – the future of photovoltaics
What is hidden under the mysterious name of the quantum dot and what exactly is it? Well, quantum dots are small semiconductors of the order of several tens of nanometers (1 nanometer = 0.000.000 001 m) capable of absorbing and emitting electromagnetic radiation (light). Semiconductors have mastered our world, the world of electronics: transistors, processors, integrated circuits. Our technology requires the use of semiconductors, and quantum dots are the most innovative and unusual semiconductor. They owe their advantages to size, among others. Due to the fact that they are so small they are invisible and it is impossible to observe them even using an optical microscope. We can almost arbitrarily manipulate the size and shape of quantum dots affecting their properties to suit our needs. They can act like filters by cutting out, for example, harmful UV radiation or excessive amount of IR. They can shine in any color and with an intensity exceeding all other technologies. They are potentially the best material for creating a quantum computer. They are used in medicine and biology for imaging and transporting medicines. And now they are starting to play an increasingly important role in photovoltaics.
And what about competitive materials?
Quantum dots absorb more and more widely than the most popular semiconductor in photovoltaics – silicon. In addition, they do not lose their efficiency over time and are resistant to weather conditions. And above all, they can be completely transparent. Perovskite materials are increasingly being referred to as the future of photovoltaics, however, and in this competition, quantum dots have an advantage. Quantum dots and perovskites can be equally easily applied to surfaces, equally cheap in manufacturing, however the similarities end there. Quantum dots are more stable, and this means that they do not degrade, I can be completely translucent or have a fixed color which is impossible with perovskite material and does not have to contain harmful elements. In addition, quantum dots can also shine. Technologies related to nanomaterials are developing very quickly and we are constantly discovering new interesting and practical properties of this new type of material.
Do not they really have flaws?
What is their great advantage may also be their weakness, namely the nanometric size. Because they are so small, specialist equipment is needed to work with them, but this obstacle, thanks to, among others, electron microscopy is no longer a barrier. Technological progress allows us to use and apply new materials to improve our lives. It can be expected that nanomaterials such as quantum dots will eventually supplant materials commonly used today.
Transparent photovoltaic glass will not only give electricity, it will also shine – emit light in any color. Thanks to the use of quantum dots, it will be possible to completely exclude harmful UV radiation and reduce it