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Transparent Solar Panels to be used as Windows to Power Your Home?

This is how one day your windows can help power your home using transparent solar panels as windows! If you’re interested in learning how that works, watch the video and links below! Would you consider using solar panel windows for your tiny or small house if/when they become available?

Solar Panel Windows?! Yes..

© Michigan State University/YouTube

Video: Transparent Solar Panels @ Michigan State University


  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMhdpWMDp04
  2. https://offgridworld.com/windows-may-one-day-power-home/
  3. http://www.techtimes.com/articles/13575/20140820/transparent-solar-panel-cell-michigan-state-university.htm

Our big thanks to ‘Wiz Zard’ for sharing!

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Tom Osterdock
    November 15, 2017, 4:45 pm

    This really could be a big boon to society and to Tiny Homes. I could still put smart glass film on the inside of the window and when made opaque it would still make electricity. Kool.

    • James D.
      November 15, 2017, 7:13 pm

      The nice thing about both technologies is you could always upgrade/replace existing windows at a later point to upgrade them for these features.

      In addition, smart glass options are advancing to the point the glass becomes a virtual screen so you can have things like the news and weather reports shown to you, etc. as well as select window opacity levels.

      Price still a little high but the technology should start getting cheaper pretty fast over the next few years.

      Though, the solar option may take a little longer as that is still a little too new and needs to be improved quite a bit more to be really useful…

      While another thing to keep an eye on is the development of solar paint… Not very high efficiency but as you can literally cover the entire exterior in it the total square footage it covers could make up for it and it’s a low cost solution.

      Applying these on the interior can also help recover some of the energy used for lighting to further improve total house energy efficiency.

  • November 15, 2017, 5:05 pm

    This is great as a supplemental source. Most tiny homes today do not have a lot of window area (it is generally not a great insulator, heavy, and large glass areasis not the best friend to a house on wheels moving around on bumpy roads). But I would definitely add this and hope that the solar roofs that Tesla is pioneering also takes hold and becomes cost effective and available.

  • Carole D.
    November 15, 2017, 5:50 pm

    Wow, what a great find. Hopefully, it will become affordable for all people who wants it.

    • James D.
      November 15, 2017, 7:01 pm

      Hopefully, the problem for now is the technology is still in its infancy and that means it still is very low efficiency and has high cost.

      It will eventually improve, like flexible film technology has for example, but it’s still a number of years before people can look at this as a practical option.

      There are other options, like window awnings with solar panels built in, solar tiles for the roof, and even pavement options. So there’s a number of ways to integrate solar without it being obvious.

      • Tom Osterdock
        November 16, 2017, 1:54 am

        James, this could really be good for that house we saw awhile back that had a glass roof.

        • James D.
          November 16, 2017, 5:30 am

          Yes, lots of potential uses that can give a new dynamic to the range of what to consider in a given house design and how it can be improved/augmented.

  • Michael
    November 16, 2017, 5:35 am

    Great invention. It would make power sources invisible and with this film there are endless options to put it on existing windows.
    It would be interesting to learn how much area is needed to compete with the existing solar panels when it comes to output and efficiency.

    • Tom Osterdock
      November 17, 2017, 3:36 am

      Michael, the nice thing is that we could use it in conjunction with standard panels increasing the electrical generation.

  • Denise
    November 19, 2017, 5:31 am

    It looks like a great idea, however if doing solar, I myself would stick with solar panels that mounted on top of the roof rather than windows and having sunshine come through them. While this is a great idea, the process of creation has me concerned about potential long term harm. As a person who is sensitive to chemicals period, and with this being brand new technology, we don’t know the long term health effects of being exposed to sunlight that is coming through these type of windows.

    • James D.
      November 24, 2017, 1:46 am

      Uh, sunlight is sunlight… This technology won’t change that at all… Some of the light coming through the window will just be converted into electricity, but the rest goes through the same as any other window…

      While most application will have it with multiple pane glass. So it would be layered between panes of glass and thus you shouldn’t be in direct contact with it at all…

      The only people who would have the remotest problem with this technology are those super sensitive to EM fields as this would be generating electricity…

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