Early-stage startup Ubiquitous Energy has developed solar cells that absorb ultraviolet and infrared light, rather than the visible light portion of the spectrum. That allows it to make solar cells that generate electricity but are transparent. This photo shows its cells layered onto glass next to traditional window glazing on the table. The company hopes the technology will be used on power-generating windows or placed over screens of e-readers and tablet computers to recharge them.
The Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy funds R&D in energy technologies that are too early for private funders to pick up. It’s funded hundreds of projects since it was first funded in 2009 in areas including carbon capture and storage, power electronics, and solar power.
ARPA-E recently hosted its annual summit near Washington, DC, where researchers have the chance to show off their latest work. Here is a sample of some of the most intriguing projects on display.