Here’s some exciting news in the evolution of solar-power: a California-based company has recently started making Solar-powered glass. Called Power Glass - this new material utilizes innovative technology that allows transparent glass windows to produce electricity from the power of the sun. Manufacturing company Xsunx has created very thin semi-transparent coatings that can be used to create large area monolithic solar cell structures that you can see through. This transparency makes Power Glass glazing desirable for placing over glass, plastics, and other see-through structures.
XsunX claims that Power Glass will operate at half the efficiency of conventional solar cells but with only a quarter of the cost. From a design perspective Power Glass is certainly a lot less obtrusive than those bulky free-standing solar panels which need to be installed on roofs - and could allow designers more aesthetic freedom in which to create energy efficient buildings.