Transparent photovoltaic windows with silicon nanospheres

Transparent photovoltaic windows with silicon nanospheres, the new Italian innovation for the sector. It is first production system of silicon nanospheres, the main material of the special Solar Glass luminescent solar concentrators, will be manufactured in Trento, Italy.

Transparent photovoltaic windows “made in Italy” are close to their industrial production. This technological innovation patented by Glass to Power, a spin-off of the University of Bicocca, is at the center of a new project which closely involves the autonomous province of Trento.

Photovoltaic windows with silicon nanospheres

The Trentina administration signed an agreement with this young company and the union representatives of Cgil, Cisl, Uil for the start-up of the first “NanoFarm”. What is it about? An innovative plant for the production of silicon nanoparticles for use in transparent photovoltaic windows.

How do they work.

The solution developed by Glass to Power is based on the use of luminescent solar concentrators (LSC), plastic sheets in which optically active materials are incorporated at the nanometric scale.

LSCs capture part of the solar radiation (infrared rays) passing through them and concentrate it on the edges: a thin strip of traditional photovoltaic cells transforms solar energy into electricity.

Silicon nanospheres

The advantage of these systems is that they can be integrated into double or triple glazing which normally incorporate windows and doors, thus transforming ordinary windows into semi-transparent solar panels.

At the heart of this technology are optically active semiconductors, silicon nanoparticles and copper-indium disulfide, designed by researchers at the University of Bicocca so that in addition to capturing sunlight, they behave like perfect transmitters.

The results of laboratory tests proved that the researchers were right and that transparent photovoltaic windows are now seeking to enter the market.

The project.

The new “NanoFarm” project aims to develop a large-scale nanoparticle production system.

The University of Trento and Bicocca will participate in its implementation and, as a second step, the foundations Fbk and Fem and Green Building Council Italia.

According to the agreement, Glass to Power “undertakes to carry out in the province of Trento the production of goods or services related to the research provided for five years after the completion of the research project”, by hiring workers. By 2021, at least three local suppliers will participate through specific agreements and a local conference will be organized to promote transparent photovoltaic glass.

On a large scale and at an affordable price, this technology could generate energy in large quantities and without too many problems.

More information: