Researchers convert glass windows into energy-storing appliance

AL Circle

A team of researchers from the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS) in Bengaluru has created a groundbreaking battery capable of converting ordinary glass windows into cost-effective energy storage units. This innovative development involves the design of an efficient and affordable aqueous transparent battery featuring colour modulation functionality, ideal for integration into smart windows.

Researchers convert glass windows into energy-storing appliance


Let us know about CeNS

The Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS) is an autonomous research institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. DST provides core support to the Centre through a grant-in-aid for conducting basic and applied research in nano and soft matter sciences. The Centre is engaged in materials research at all relevant length scales. Specifically, the current activities focus on various metal and semiconductor nanostructures, liquid crystals, gels, membranes, and hybrid materials. It has close interactions with many institutions and industries in India and abroad.

As per the Department of Science and Technology, “Such windows remain transparent in a fully charged state during the day time, thus allowing sunlight into the room while simultaneously functioning as an energy storage system. At night, the stored energy can power electronic devices within the room, and the electro-chromic battery transitions to a dark blue state, ensuring privacy.”

The unique transparent battery

The unique design of the transparent battery incorporates aluminium-ion battery technology.

The design features a cathode material consisting of electrochromic tungsten oxide (WO3) optimized for thickness at 170 nm, paired with aluminium serving as the anode. This design effectively demonstrates the charging and discharging process through visible transitions.

Dr Ashutosh Kumar Singh, the principal researcher, emphasized the substantial promise of transparent energy storage device technologies for incorporation into smart window systems. These advancements provide both energy storage functionalities and adaptable transparency, presenting exciting opportunities for integration.

“The use of aqueous electrolytes contributes to their cost-effectiveness, high performance, and elevated safety levels, making them well-suited for use in smart windows and energy storage applications within modern infrastructures. Its commercialisation would require minimal investment. We can engage with potential smart glass manufacturers for collaborative efforts,” added Dr Singh.

The innovative team at CeNS has developed a groundbreaking solution for eco-friendly buildings, transforming ordinary windows into energy sources. These intelligent windows strike a perfect balance between natural light and energy efficiency. When fully charged, they maintain clarity, flooding rooms with sunlight. At dusk, they seamlessly transition to a dark blue tint, indicating stored energy while providing privacy.

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