Solar powered windows
BBC News: Solar dyes give a guiding light
A new way capturing the energy from the Sun could increase the power generated by solar panels tenfold, a team of American scientists has shown. The new technique involves coating glass with a specific mixture of transparent dyes which redirect light to photovoltaic cells in the frame. The technology, outlined in the journal Science, could be used to convert glass buildings into vast energy plants. The technology could be in production within three years, the team said.
Nifty! Photovoltaic cells are pretty inefficient, but you're still getting something for nothing. This would give you a lot more something for nothing. It's a double layer system, but the outer layer could be used as a regular window, looking like smoked glass with a rim of solar cells around the edge. In Las Vegas, we saw a few houses with panels of solar cells on the roof. Out there if you could get enough solar to power the AC units, you'd be winning. I'd love to see more local renewable energy sources.