Startup Turns Windows Into Transparent Organic Solar Panels That Can Generating Electricity

Aadhya Khatri - Aug 01, 2020


Startup Turns Windows Into Transparent Organic Solar Panels That Can Generating Electricity

The startup said they could turn any surface into organic solar panels, from automotive, windows, displays, and other consumer electronics devices

In 2019, a startup based in San Francisco introduced a prototype of organic solar panels which later won a world record for power conversion efficiency of 9.8%. And with that initial success, they are trying to scale up and get to the mass production stage.

Organic solar panels have several benefits over traditional cells, including lightweight, nontoxic, semi-transparency, and low production costs. The main reason why we haven’t seen mass adoption of organic solar cells is their low efficiency and reliability.

Ubiquitous organic Solar panels glass
Organic solar panels have several benefits over traditional cells, including lightweight, nontoxic, semi-transparency, and low production costs

Ubiquitous Energy claims by coating glass with transparent organic layers, we will have glass panels that can selectively convert near-infrared light and ultraviolet into electricity all while letting visible light in.

The company started eight years ago with some researchers and scientists from MIT. What they had at that time was merely a simple proof of concept. According to Veeral Hardev, Ubiquitous’s director of business development, if their idea is sound, they could turn any surface into organic solar panels, from automotive, windows, displays, and other consumer electronics devices.

After relocating to Redwood City, the company now has 20 people on board doing more than just research and development but also constructing, testing, and looking for applications. Ubiquitous Energy now has a handful of patents in organic solar panels and solar cell tech.

Ubiquitos energy organic solar panels 1
After relocating to Redwood City, the company now has 20 people on board doing more than just research and development

The startup has several competitors on the market but according to Hardev, since they hold intellectual property rights and patents, Ubiquitous is still the market leader.

When compared to what silicon rooftop solar panels can do, with conversion rate is around 15% to 20%, 9.8% of the company’s organic solar panels sound too small, even if they hold the world’s record for transparent materials.

However, Ubiquitous believes their products still have a chance to be mass adopted, especially in urban areas where there are a large number of surfaces exposed to sunlight.

The startup is in collaboration with both window fabrication and glass manufacturing companies to build a manufacturing line and have first products after 18 months.

>>> Solar-Powered Yacht Travels Endlessly Without Fuel, Noise Or Emissions

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