A year ago, researchers at UCLA had begun developing a promising transparent solar cell that generates solar power through windows. One year later, and the researchers have nearly doubled the efficiency of the original solar cells.
The results of the study were published in the Energy & Environmental Science Journal, and reports that "taking two layers of transparent solar cell 'tuned' to slightly different frequencies of near-infrared light" allows for the cells to capture solar energy.
By laminating two layers of the PV material, the teams were able to boost the solar cells' efficiency to 7.3 percent, a rise from the only 4 percent last year.
"The breakthrough offers the possibility of photovoltaic smartphone and tablet screens, though at 7.3 percent efficiency, you'd probably have to leave your phone in the sun for a few days to charge it fully."
Although there is still work to be done, solar windows did just have a major breakthrough.