Now, cheaper solar power windows inspired by natural photosynthesis
A Swiss researcher has developed low-cost solar cells which can be built into glass windows, replacing the costlier traditional rooftop solar panels.
According to Michael Gratzel, his technology was inspired by photosynthesis, the process whereby plants obtain energy from the sun.
"I was always intrigued with natural photosynthesis, the way the plant uses molecules to generate charges and separate those changes," Discovery News quoted Gratzel, as saying in a YouTube video.
He added: "Nature then uses those charges to make chemicals out of water, oxygen and out of CO2."
Gratzel was awarded the Millennium Technology Prize for inventing the dye-sensitized solar cell called Gratzel cell.
"The price/performance ratio of Grdtzel's dye-sensitized solar cells is excellent. [It] is a promising alternative to standard silicon photovoltaics," the Technology Academy Finland, the group that presented the award, said in a statement.
The technology first found use in consumer products in 2009 when a company called G24 Innovations developed a backpack that used Gratzel cells to charge the batteries in portable electronics.