New Solar Panel System Could Double as a Tinted Window

A German startup has developed a new type of lightweight solar panel its developers say can be integrated into the design of buildings and even used in electricity-producing tinted windows. Designed by Dresden-based Heliatek, the technology utilizes small, organic molecules in the production of the solar cells. While such organic solar cells have become commonplace, this technology uses molecules called oligomers. They are more stable than the commonly used polymers, which developers say will make the cells more efficient and longer-lived. Because they are lighter and have greater flexibility than most panels, the company hopes they can be integrated into building construction as a cheaper alternative to mounted panels, according to MIT’s Technology Review. The company also is working with a manufacturer to use the semi-transparent panels as windows.