Last week, I talked about my Post-It Note obsession. So it probably won’t surprise you that I was excited to hear that 3M, the company that brought us Post-It Notes, wants to use a similar concept for solar power.
3M came up with a solar panel that is a translucent piece of sticky film. It can block up to 90 percent of incoming infrared light, which means that it can significantly cool a building with a lot of windows or one where the windows don’t open. It helps prevent the “greenhouse effect” and save on air conditioning.
This set-up is not as efficient as the traditional photovoltaic system. That’s okay, it doesn’t have to be. One square meter (approximately 3 x 3 feet) provides enough power to charge the average smartphone. Although this might not create a lot of power for the average home, an office building with a lot of windows would benefit from the system. The savings from reduced air conditioner use, combined with the energy generated, would reduce electricity costs.
3M hopes to start selling this product in Japan next year and I’m curious to see how this turns out. Simplicity works and 3M is known for its simple and effective products.
Would you try this new type of solar panel?