Wow! (New way of collecting solar) - Journal of Omnifarious
Jul. 11th, 2008
05:31 pm - Wow! (New way of collecting solar)
Someone realized you could make a plane of glass into a solar concentrator if you could get the light into it at the right angle so that it would keep bouncing around inside the glass (like a fiber optic cable) until it hit the edge where all the solar cells are. Solar cells are a lot more efficient when the light intensity is higher.
They do it by covering the window with a dye that bends most of the light as it passes through so it remains trapped inside the glass. Different dyes work best at different wavelengths so they're using a very careful selection of several dyes to trap a whole bunch of the light. Some light still makes it through though so the window can still function as a smoked glass-type window.
This is way impressive!