3M Corporation has developed technology which can make solar panels from regular windows. Currently on display at CEATEC in Japan, the film is cut into a series of narrow green strips of organic, photovoltaic material which is then applied to the window at regular intervals with gaps in between. The material absorbs or blocks about 80 percent of visible light, and one square meter of the adhesive material can generate enough energy to fully charge an iPhone during peak sunlight hours while still providing a decent level of visibility through the window itself. The material also acts as a sunshade on windows.
The material, which is still relatively costly, is expected to come down in price, and to go on sale next year. 3M plans on targeting government and office buildings first, before making the product commercially available.