Installing solar panels on the roof is great, but Windows offer additional sun-gathering surface that can be exploited with Konarka’s transparent (or translucent, we should say) solar panels called Arch Active Solar Glass. The idea is to slide these in double pane windows for example, but you can imagine all kinds of applications as they are made of flexible plastic and don’t really need to be protected by glass.
There are a few downsides: the life expectancy of the product (25yrs) is inferior to silicon-based cells. It is also much less efficient at converting light into electricity (6% efficiency). Still, it can be used where standard solar panels can’t so that’s an advantage that can’t be ignored. It seems difficult to improve the efficiency, but it might easier to reduce the cost. That’s cool stuff.