Work begins to develop electricity-generating window retrofits


A US manufacturer has begun development of what it claims will be the world’s first electricity-generating windows that can be retrofitted to existing homes and commercial buildings.

SolarWindow Technologies develops transparent electricity-generating liquid coatings for glass and flexible plastics. It has begun initial work on transparent electricity-generating veneers that could be applied directly onto existing windows of homes and commercial buildings. It estimates the market size at more than 430 million square feet of windows in the USA alone.

The development is particularly targeted at the five million tall towers that consume almost 40% of the electricity generated in the United States. SolarWindow envisions transparent flexible veneers that have a ‘fastening system’ on one side and a transparent electricity-generating coating on the other.

Installers would simply cut the veneers to size on site and attach the ‘fastening system’ to existing glass. Then, using a proprietary interconnection system, the electricity generated could be routed into the building’s electrical system or connected directly to fixtures for use.

SolarWindow has already developed proprietary, patent-pending, electricity-generating liquid coatings being engineered to be applied to new glass during manufacturing.

The company claims that when newly manufactured glass is treated this way and fabricated into a window it has the potential of turning entire buildings into vertical power generators, reducing electricity costs by up to 50% per year. SolarWindow says that modelling has shown that the system can provide a one-year financial payback while producing 50 times more energy than rooftop solar for a 50-storey building.



This article was published on 8 Sep 2016 (last updated on 8 Sep 2016).

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