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Researchers develop window capable of generating electricity

Jun 25, 2008 - Asia Pulse Data Source

South Korean researchers and Samsung SDI Co. said Tuesday that they have developed a window that can be used to generate electric power.

The building integrated photovoltalic (BIPV) cells made by coating windows with Sol-Gel material have reached power efficiency of 11 percent in laboratory tests, said Bae Byeong-Soo, a professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

He said more research needs to be carried out to raise sustained efficiency from 8.9 percent, and that the development team is aiming to make models capable of commercial use in 4-5 years.

"Sustained efficiency of at least 10 percent and overall durability need to be reached," he said.

Conventional solar panels can be used almost indefinitely with little drop in power generating efficiency, but the output of those using coating materials or film usually drop. Conventional solar panels also have higher power efficiency of around 15 percent.

The joint development project conducted by Bae's KAIST team and Samsung has received research support from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy since 2002. A total of 18.51 billion won (US$17.90 million) has already been injected into the project, with the government providing 62 percent or 11.47 billion won.

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