If you haven’t heard of Ubiquitous Energy and their ambitious goals now would be a good time to look into them. Back in March 2019 transparent solar cell manufacturer Ubiquitous Energy claimed the energy efficiency record for transparent cells clocking in at 9.8% by harvesting different wavelengths of light. Now naturally that may not sound as impressive, especially when we compare it to companies like Sunpower which is still pushing the boundaries of cell efficiency – around 22%. But it begs an honest question: can transparent solar panels ever really have a commercial application? Especially since ubiquitous solar has only gotten about 100 square feet of panels installed since conception as a pilot/demonstration.
To evaluate if transparent solar panels are for you we need to look into the specific space companies like Ubiquitous are playing in.
We put it under the energy efficiency tab of products to evaluate. Meaning comparing it to traditional solar panels or any product-focused on power production, will never enable such a technology to leave the deadly R&D phase.
History shows that the others who have played in this space have either gone bankrupt or have pivoted towards perovskite research – but we like the concept of energy efficiency. Comparing these panels to LEDs or other energy efficiency products in the market might help bring such a technology into the market. Imagine large commercial buildings retrofitted with these panels to improve the overall efficiency of the building’s HVAC & energy consumption…
However, there is still a large uphill battle for Ubiquitous and those we consider its competitors in the energy efficient windows space. Check out View for example – who uses “intelligent windows” to improve the energy efficiency of HVAC solutions within a building without using blinds.