Self-powered smart-windows for visible light communications

The results of the research published in Advanced Energy Materials
vetrate fotovoltaiche semitrasparenti

Energy sustainability and interconnectivity are the two main pillars on which state-of-the-art architecture is based. They call for the realization of energy and smart devices that can be fully integrated into buildings, capable on the one hand of meeting stringent regulatory requirements, and on the other hand of operating under real-world conditions. Luminescent solar concentrators, particularly those based on engineered inorganic nanoparticles, are considered to be the best candidates for semitransparent photovoltaic glazing, and it has also been shown that they can function as antennas for wireless communication systems. However, despite important advances in strategies for engineering the optical properties of these devices, no one has yet gone beyond proofs of concept and studies of finite devices suitable for real-world operation are still completely lacking.

In the reserach article “Certification Grade Quantum Dot Luminescent Solar Concentrator Glazing with Optical Wireless Communication Capability for Connected Sustainable Architecture” (doi: 10.1002/aenm.202304006) published in Advanced Energy Materials (Impact factor 27.8  - 2022 Journal Impact Factor, Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate Analytics, 2023), coordinated by Prof. Franco Meinardi and Prof. Sergio Brovelli, the first example of fully assembled photovoltaic glazing based on luminescent solar concentrators is demonstrated, meeting all international standards for photovoltaics and building elements. Furthermore, these devices are shown to function as efficient visible light communication receivers (VLCs) even in bright sunlight, thus combining the functions of energy generator and wireless connectivity into a realistic solution for smart and sustainable buildings.