Using low-cost materials and a new manufacturing technique, scientists have developed improved solar windows that can produce more electricity at a lower cost. The innovation is the latest in a series of advancements for the SolarWindow, the world’s first technology capable of generating electricity on clear glass windows.

The SolarWindow looks like an ordinary window, but contains unique, thin, clear solar cells that are layered on the glass. The cells are connected in a network through a grid system that is virtually invisible. As light hits the solar cells, they create electricity.

The new development for the technology helps optimize the flow of electrons within the solar cells, so they can generate more power. It uses efficient, low-cost manufacturing techniques, and also makes the windows more durable because it better protects the solar cells inside.

Created by New Energy Technologies along with the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the University of South Florida, the SolarWindow is currently still in development. New Energy Technologies plans to eventually install the windows in homes and commercial buildings throughout the United States.

Photo credit: New Energy Technologies