Through the years, we’ve fielded thousands of solar-related questions.
One that consistently comes up is the possibility of collecting solar energy through glass.
In today’s post, we explore if this is possible, its limitations and which solar technologies perform best with a glass barrier between them and the sun.
Additionally, we will uncover what, if any, are the differences in collecting solar energy behind windows in buildings and windows in a vehicle.
Take this blog post with you!
Windows have multiple functions, and despite their appearance of high transparency and high color rendering index, there is still a significant amount of light that is not transmitted through a window.
Figure 1 shows the transmission of common types of building window glass. Transmission for clear glass is less than 90% of the possible light based on the ideal angle of light incidence.
The light transmission can be much lower for high-efficiency Low-E windows, especially in the infrared.
This can be especially problematic for solar technologies such as CIGS, perovskites, polycrystalline silicon, and monocrystalline silicon since about 50% of the light they collect is from wavelengths between 800-1200nm.
Amorphous silicon collects light from wavelengths between 400 – 700nm, resulting in far less rated power loss behind a window than with other technologies.
Interested in learning more about PowerFilm’s custom capabilities and how we can walk through all the different variables to account for when designing your next solar product?
We would love to start a conversation.
Whether addressing potential pitfalls in design, environmental effects and limitations or the best product encapsulation, we know custom solar and will help take your product plans to full-scale production.