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Electricity-generating windows 'a reality in five years'

11/08/10
Edited by Bob Witham.

Residential property owners could be using their windows to generate clean renewable energy within the next five years thanks to a new research project taking place in the UK.

Norwegian company EnSol AS has patented a design that sees solar cells suspended in a transparent matrix, which can then be sprayed as a thin film on to surfaces such as windows or roofs.

The firm is working with the University of Leicester to develop prototype cells.

A spokesperson for EnSol AS said: "The basic cell concept has been demonstrated and it will be the objective of this research and development project to systematically refine this photovoltaic cell technology to achieve a cell efficiency of 20 per cent or greater."

Chris Binns, a professor of nanotechnology at the university, said windows coated with the film would be slightly tinted to absorb light.

He added that because only a thin layer of the spray is required, the technique could be much cheaper to apply than conventional solar energy systems.