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Source: Michigan State University

The Solar Panels Of The Future Are Invisible And They Could Power Your Home


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It's no secret that solar energy has the potential to completely disrupt our reliance on fossil fuels and lead to a cleaner, more sustainable planet. But the design of the solar panels you see out in the world today come with a few problems: They're big, they're expensive, they're not aesthetically pleasing and because for the most part they have to be stationary, they can only power homes and buildings. 

Luckily there is a lot of innovation in this area. The startup Build Solar is producing solar power units encased in glass blocks, which can be used like windows and seamlessly integrate into a building's facade; Audi is working on solar panels that integrate into the roof of a car; and Tesla is creating panels that look just like the shingles on a roof. Now, in the latest innovation, researchers at Michigan State University have had a breakthrough in solar technology that has led to a completely transparent solar material, which could turn your windows—or even your smartphone—into energy-producing, emissions-cutting devices.