Sunday, November 19, 2017

Solar Windows Could One Day Collect Electricity for Skyscrapers

One company is integrating tiny solar cells into glass.

Solar window (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
The sides of a towering skyscraper are covered with windows that glint in the sun on a clear day.  Imagine if all those windows could be used to collect energy.

It’s not just a fantasy.  Several companies are creating windows that convert solar energy into electricity.  Ferdinand Grapperhaus is Co-founder and CEO of a Dutch company called Physee.

Grapperhaus:  “We have integrated solar cells in the edges of the glass.”

The cells are tiny, so they do not change how a building looks.  He says this is important, because people are often reluctant to alter a building’s design.

Grapperhaus:  “We don’t want to compromise on those designs but we do want to add functionality to the glass.”

For now, each window produces just enough power for small tasks, such as charging a phone.  But Grapperhaus says his company is developing new technology that aims to triple the energy produced.

The windows alone will still be unable to power a whole building.  But Grapperhaus thinks that’s ok.  He says energy consumption in big buildings is a huge problem and no single technology will solve it alone.

Grapperhaus:  “I foresee it will always be a combination of different functionalities that make a building fully energy neutral.”

Read original at Solar Windows Could One Day Collect Electricity for Skyscrapers

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