What if your windows could double as transparent solar panels? Free energy with your sunny view! Scientists at MIT have developed a solar concentrator in the form of a dye that can be applied to windows. The dye redirects sunlight toward the edges of the window, where solar cells pick up the energy. The obvious benefit of such a system is an unobstructed view through glass also generating solar power. Additionally, scientists claim that the dye can be applied to existing solar panels to increase efficiency significantly. (source)
The dye presents a solution to certain bureaucratic barriers preventing solar energy from growing. Where I live, roof mounted solar panels are not allowed. Windows, on the other hand, are allowed. I am confident most other residential and commercial zones also permit the use of windows in buildings (hah), so I see no reason why this dye and solar cell system couldn’t be used in every building. Last time I checked, cars also had windows. Can anyone say free air conditioning? This technology will be implemented in three years, hopefully that means it will be entering the consumer market at the same time.