Solar power in airplane windows a possibility

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Originally published on October 23, 2013

French company Vision Systems Aeronautics has joined forces with SunPartner Technologies to develop Wysips Glass, which could lead the way to the development of photovoltaic windows. This technology could be used on airplanes, allowing the windows automatically adjust to the amount of light outside without the use of cables or the plane's own electrical system.

Wysips stands for "What You See Is Photovoltaic Surface", and would involve layering thin, photovoltaic surfaces onto micro-lenses to render the crystal PV cells invisible. The company is still working to improve the product, saying it will be ready at some point next year.

Currently, Wysips Glass promises 60-90 percent transparency, with up to 30 watts per square meter of power production. Vision Systems says this is more than enough power to allow the electronically dimmable windows to run on their own, independent of the plane's power supply. Experts say this would save money on cabling and costly maintenance of traditional systems.

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