|Luminescent Solar Concentrator - Steven Shimizu|
Current silicon solar cells have an efficiency of 25%. These cells are opaque (do not allow light to transmit through). Please see Standard silicon solar cell parameters (PV Education.org).
In a luminescent solar collector, the quantum silicon dots embedded or painted on transparent glass reflect light to the perimeter of the glass where solar collectors convert the light into energy. This allows a window in a building to also work as a solar collector. Because silica is not an element in short supply, this allows for low cost and low efficiency (2.5 to 5%) solar energy collection.
The U of M Brief publication article on Energy Collecting Windows now a Step Closer to Reality
describes the process researchers used to construct the window based solar collectors. The abstract,
Highly efficient luminescent solar concentrators based on earth-abundant indirect-bandgap silicon quantum dots provides more information.
The Clean Energy Institute lists resources and materials needed to construct a Luminescent Solar Concentrator.