Experiments with transparent solar collectors have been conducted for quite some time now, but they have resulted in variable success and many poor results ? particularly around the inefficient production of energy. More to the point, most of the produced materials weren't completely transparent, rather being brightly-colored or too darkly tinted.
"No one wants to sit behind colored glass," said Richard Lunt, assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at MSU. "It makes for a very colorful environment, like working in a disco. We take an approach where we actually make the luminescent active layer itself transparent."