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Six must-have construction tech tools

by CW Staff on May 17, 2015


Drones can be used to monitor construction sites. Image Courtesy: Siemens
Drones can be used to monitor construction sites. Image Courtesy: Siemens

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Transparent Solar Panels

Solar panels have traditionally been opaque slabs of sustainable material, which, despite their benefits, can pose design constraints on architects and landscape consultants.

A team of chemical engineers from Michigan State University (MSU) is developing a product that may just counter the designing concerns – “a film that lets in light when placed over windows, but also generates solar power”.

In August 2014, American monthly Wired reported the team from MSU is using “organic luminescent salts to absorb near-infrared energy. The energy travels along the plastic coating to the edge of the panel to be converted using the usual photovoltaic solar cells, which are applied in thin strips here”.

California-based firm Ubiquitous Energy grew out of the MSU programme and has developed a product that ClearView Power, a transparent coating that enables any surface to convert ambient light into useful electricity without impacting the way it looks. ClearView can serve as an invisible, power-producing coating for windows, providing an onboard power source for electronic window functionality or to offset energy consumption in buildings.

Watch Ubiquitous Energy explain how transparent solar panels can be applied on skyscrapers for power generation: 



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