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A team of researchers at the U.S. DoE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has developed a thermochromic window capable of converting sunlight into electricity at a high efficiency.

“Relying on such advanced materials as perovskites and single-walled carbon nanotubes, the new technology responds to heat by transforming from transparent to tinted; as the window darkens, it generates electricity,” said Dr. Lance Wheeler, a researcher in materials science at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and colleagues.

“The color change is driven by methylamine molecules that are reversibly absorbed into the device. When solar energy heats up the device, the molecules are driven out, and the device is darkened.”

“When the Sun is not shining, the device is cooled back down, and the molecules re-absorb into the window device, which then appears transparent.”

The demonstration device allows an average of 68% of light in the visible portion of the solar spectrum to pass through when it’s in a transparent, or bleached, state.

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Category: Science