If the Internet has taught us anything, it is that everything is better when it is smaller. Kittens are better than cats. Cake pops are better than cakes. LEGO models of anything are pretty great, even if the full-sized version is pretty iffy (say, a meth lab).
Thus: Solar panels? Good. Teeny tiny solar cells? BETTER. Solar cells so tiny they can be sprayed onto windows? SO COOL.
A company called New Energy Technologies has developed the thinnest of thin-film solar panels, a film of itty-bitty solar panels that’s basically transparent and can be applied to your windows in layers smaller than a micrometer. These tiny panels, each a quarter the size of a grain of rice, can harvest energy even in low-light conditions and from artificial light, so you might as well spray the stuff on the inside of your windows as well as the outside.
The only part of this technology we don’t like is that it doesn’t come in a spray-can so you can go hog wild all over your house. The company does the spraying itself. But one day? Maybe we’ll all just be picking up a can of this stuff at the hardware store to re-do our energy-collecting windows.
"Spray-On" Photovoltaic Windows, Technology Review.