Michigan State University Develops Transparent Solar Concentrator

Retired Shell Executive Vice President David Lawrence draws on more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry to lead Lawrence Energy Group, LLC. Lawrence led successful research, exploration, development, commercial, finance, LNG, and wind energy efforts during his years with Shell, working across six continents. Lawrence Energy Group LLC seeks investment opportunities and equity participation in the oil, gas, and renewable energy sectors, offering a number of resources to partners. David Lawrence and his firm focus on emerging stage opportunities and companies with unique technical insights and innovative technology.

Research into new energy technologies is progressing rapidly at a number of institutions. For example, a research team at Michigan State University, has developed new solar energy technology offering both sustainability and aesthetic benefits. The transparent luminescent solar concentrator may be placed over windows to generate solar energy without obstructing the glass, allowing solar power to be implemented inconspicuously for a variety of applications. In addition to windows, the technology can also be placed over cell phone screens and other devices with similar clear surfaces.

This breakthrough is an accomplishment long sought after by energy researchers. Previous efforts to integrate solar cells with luminescent materials have resulted in highly-tinted materials that yielded inefficient amounts of energy. To finally create the transparent luminescent solar concentrator, the team at MSU developed organic molecules that are capable of absorbing certain wavelengths of sunlight. The concentrator collects infrared light at its edge, converting this nonvisible light into electricity via photovoltaic solar cells.

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