Windowpanes that generate solar power, charge USB devices

The solar windowpane

The solar windowpane.

July 28, 2008 While rooftop solar panels have understandably been the main focus for household solar energy breakthroughs, Tokyo-based Nihon Telecommunication System Inc. has given householders another option to do their bit to help the planet by developing windowpanes with built-in photovoltaic cells.

The solar cells have a power generation efficiency of 7 to 8% and, due to the thickness of the glass (10.5mm), up to 90% of sunlight is prevented from coming into a room, thus providing the added benefit of reducing air conditioning costs. On a sunny day, the windowpanes generate up to 70 watts of electricity per square meter of glass.

The company claims this is enough to power a PC or charge a mobile phone. Thing is, we're not sure how you're supposed to do charge either device without a traditional power outlet - the windowpane can only provide power via a USB port.

Source: Crunchgear

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