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Solar-Powered Smart Windows Can Help you Save Energy Costs: Researchers

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Solar-Powered Smart Windows Can Help you Save Energy Costs. Pixabay
  • The new self-powered version promises to be inexpensive and easy to apply to existing windows
  • The smart window controls the transmission of visible light and infrared heat into the building
  • The researchers chose the material because its chemical structure could be modified to absorb a narrow range of wavelengths

New York, July 2, 2017: By applying a new solar cell technology, researchers have developed a self-powered version of smart windows that could help save energy costs. Smart windows equipped with controllable glazing can augment lighting, cooling and heating systems by varying their tint, saving up to 40 percent in an average building’s energy costs. But these conventional smart windows require power for operation, so they are relatively complicated to install in existing buildings.

The new self-powered version promises to be inexpensive and easy to apply to existing windows, the researchers said.

This system features solar cells that selectively absorb near-ultraviolet (near-UV) light, so the new windows are completely self-powered.

“Sunlight is a mixture of electromagnetic radiation made up of near-UV rays, visible light, and infrared energy, or heat,” said Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo, Professor at Princeton University, New Jersey, US.

“We wanted the smart window to dynamically control the amount of natural light and heat that can come inside, saving on energy cost and making the space more comfortable,” she added.

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The smart window controls the transmission of visible light and infrared heat into the building, while the new type of solar cell uses near-UV light to power the system.

“This new technology is actually smart management of the entire spectrum of sunlight,” Loo said.

In the paper published in Nature Energy, the researchers described how they used organic semiconductors — contorted hexabenzocoronene (cHBC) derivatives — for constructing the solar cells.

The researchers chose the material because its chemical structure could be modified to absorb a narrow range of wavelengths — in this case, near-UV light.

“Using near-UV light to power these windows means that the solar cells can be transparent and occupy the same footprint of the window without competing for the same spectral range or imposing aesthetic and design constraints,” Loo added.

The researchers explained that the near-UV solar cell technology can also power internet-of-things sensors and other low-power consumer products.

“It does not generate enough power for a car, but it can provide auxiliary power for smaller devices, for example, a fan to cool the car while it’s parked in the hot sun,” Loo said. (IANS)

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India: Delhi Police Setting Up Rooftop Solar Energy Systems on Police Establishments

This project would be completed soon in a phased manner with active cooperation between the two agencies

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India, Delhi Police, Solar Power
Terming the Delhi Police as always in the forefront in adopting new technology and innovative practices in all spheres of its working. Pixabay

The Delhi Police and the Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd. (SECI) on Wednesday signed an MoU for setting up rooftop solar energy systems on police establishments in the capital.

Terming the Delhi Police as always in the forefront in adopting new technology and innovative practices in all spheres of its working, Commissioner of Police Amulya Patnaik thanked the New and Renewable Energy Sources Ministry in facilitating this MOU which will go a long way in making Delhi green.

He hoped that this project would be completed soon in a phased manner with active cooperation between the two agencies.

Lauding the initiative of Delhi Police in adopting this green initiative in sync with the vision of Central government, New and Renewable Energy Sources Secretary Anand Kumar said that solar energy is economical as well as environmental friendly.

India, Delhi Police, Solar Power
The Delhi Police and the Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd. (SECI) on Wednesday signed an MoU. Pixabay

He emphasized that this is a landmark beginning in the country’s capital where the premier police force has come forward to adopt solar power technology all across its establishments, which will not only reduce their electricity bill but also further the cause of ‘Clean Energy’ in the city.

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Through this MOU, it is estimated that rooftop solar systems of about 3-4 MW capacity will be implemented across various Delhi Police buildings. (IANS)