According to reports, Panasonic is planning to sell windows made of “power-generating glass”, with perovskite solar cells integrated into transparent panes, to deliver power for homes. The module reportedly has a conversion efficacy of 17.9%, which is said to be the second highest worldwide for a perovskite cell larger than 800 sq. centimeters, ( after China’s UtmoLight - 18.6%).
Panasonic has been developing the cells since 2014 but only recently completed a test project, which consisted of installing the innovative glass on the balcony of a model home in its smart-town project in Kanagawa prefecture.
“We’ll use its globally top-class efficiency as a selling point,” said a representative involved in developing the cells. “Any place in the world where glass is used is a potential market, like office windows and shopping arcade skylights.”
The tech behind the power-generating glass relies on the flexibility of perovskite films and an inkjet printing technology that permits the material to be applied uniformly on a glass exterior. The manufacturing of the glass requires a sheet of perovskite fewer than 1 micron thick to be placed between two sheets of glass.
The challenge in creating the right technology to still allow the glass to be see-through stems from perovskite cells being almost black in color, but when using a horizontal stripe pattern, the glass remains half transparent.
Panasonic said they expect this new technology to generate tens of billions of yen, or hundreds of millions of dollars, for the company.
To secure more business, they may also expand to working with construction companies to employ this new tech as a building material.