While still undergoing refinement for introduction into the mainstream marketplace, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a transparent film that can be applied to windows to harness solar power.
The film is currently only able to convert about four percent of the infrared light into electricity, compared to commercially available solar products which are able to convert about 12.4 percent. UCLA researchers are working to improve the film’s capability to 11 percent infrared conversion to electricity, and they are also developing methods to apply the film via a spray-on application, which promises to make the product affordable for consumers.
One professor at UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute estimates the film will eventually be available at an installation cost of about $10-$15 for an average home window. Several commercial companies have already expressed interest in the product, but they have not yet been named.
The National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) Certified Products Directory (CPD) contains 258 window film product lines from nine companies.