Transparent Power-Generating Windows Based on Solar-Thermal-Electric Conversion

Yueping Fang, Qihao Zhang, Aibin Huang, Xin Ai, Jincheng Liao, Qingfeng Song, Heiko Reith, Xun Cao, Gabi Schierning, Kornelius Nielsch, Shengqiang Bai, Lidong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
137 Downloads (Pure)


Integrating transparent solar-harvesting systems into windows can provide renewable on-site energy supply without altering building aesthetics or imposing further design constraints. Transparent photovoltaics have shown great potential, but the increased transparency comes at the expense of reduced power-conversion efficiency. Here, a new technology that overcomes this limitation by combining solar-thermal-electric conversion with a material’s wavelength-selective absorption is presented. A wavelength-selective film consisting of Cs0.33WO3 and resin facilitates high visible-light transmittance (up to 88%) and outstanding ultraviolet and infrared absorbance, thereby converting absorbed light into heat without sacrificing transparency. A prototype that couples the film with thermoelectric power generation produces an extraordinary output voltage of ≈4 V within an area of 0.01 m2 exposed to sunshine. Further optimization design and experimental verification demonstrate high conversion efficiency comparable to state-of-the-art transparent photovoltaics, enriching the library of on-site energy-saving and transparent power generation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2101213
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number30
Early online date23 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative
Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2019YFE0103500), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51632010, 51902333, and 51972328), and Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, CAS (No. ZDBS-LY-JSC037). EU Marie Curie Global Fellowship (No. 841183). Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (No. CHN 1210297 HFST-P).


  • energy-saving
  • solar-thermal-electric conversion
  • thermoelectric devices
  • transparent power-generating windows
  • visible-light transmittance
  • wavelength-selective absorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Energy(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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