Solar Energy You Can See Through

08/22/2014 |

What if you could turn your windows into energy producers?

PHOTO CREDIT: YIMU ZHAO

For all its advantages, solar power has one obvious drawback: the space that the arrays take up. Even though solar panels have gotten smaller and more efficient, the space they occupy cannot be used for other purposes. Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a solution to this issue: a luminescent solar concentrator that can be placed over a window, or anything with a clear surface, that produces solar power while remaining transparent. Previous generations of luminescent solar concentrators, while efficient, are still colored and thus can affect the aesthetic of a room. The new design, however, is as transparent as glass.

A clear benefit to this development is its scalability, from smartphone screens to skyscrapers with a multitude of windows, solar concentrators that are truly transparent could be used for a variety of applications and could eliminate one of the common objections to a solar power switch: "Where will we put the panels?" 

The researchers say the solar concentrator will still need more development to produce enough energy to be commercially viable, as its current efficiency is around 1%. They are optimistic, however, that when fully optimized the concentrator will reach similar efficiencies to the best colored luminescent solar concentrators on the market today, which operate around 5-7% efficiency. 

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Surpass State Energy Requirements with Dual-Cooling Data Center CRAC Technology

See how professionals like you are taking advantage of the highest performing precision cooling system for their computer rooms and data centers, and why Data Aire is fast-becoming the number one choice for facility managers and building owners looking to decrease their energy consumption. 

Data Aire understands how digital technology and data gravity is rapidly impacting and transforming businesses. That’s why they developed ultra-efficient cooling technology to support the most modern (and not-so-modern) data centers.  Learn how One Wilshire in Los Angeles, one of the most advanced carrier hotels today, is surpassing California's strict energy efficiency requirements with Data Aire’s purpose-built system, which provide full-economization for 260 days – almost 72% of the year. That’s a measurable savings! Furthermore, the projected PUE on an annual basis for a full load is at or below 1.2.


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