We’ve written several times that scientists have managed to develop colored glass usable as a solar panel; of course, the glass won’t absorb as much energy as traditional, black panels, but it’s still something – and it’s pleasant to the eye as well. Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel had an interesting take on how to use the technology, developing this beautiful stained glass window which generates electrical current by absorbing sunlight.

“The glass pieces are made of ‘Dye Sensitised Solar Cells’, which use the properties of colour to create an electrical current—just like photosynthesis in plants,” van Aubel said. “Similarly to the various shades of green chlorophyll absorbing light, the coloured window panes harness energy.”

With this small window, you can power up small appliances, like charging your phone or laptop. According to the designer, it would take about 7 hours to fully charge an average smartphone from the window.

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While this design and idea won’t change the world, I really see some potential for it – imagine if churches and cathedrals could actually use their mosaics to generate energy, or if clubs and pubs start adding energy generating windows. It looks good, it generates energy… so why not? I like it.

Van Aubel is no stranger to working with scientists; in her work, she collaborated with Solaronix, The American Hardwood Export Council and Joris Laarman, a Dutch entrepreneur best known for his experimental designs inspired by emerging technologies. Her work has been displayed in the famous the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, as well as the Design Museum in London.

All image credits: Marjan van Aubel.