Two years ago, we took a look at SolarWindow, the clear energy-generating panels developed by New Energy Technologies. Since then, SolarWindow has started the process of commercializing transparent, electricity-generating coatings for glass windows. On Thursday, they announced another project: a process by which the energy-generating coating can be applied to flexible glass just 0.1 millimeter thick, expanding the opportunities in which the SolarWindow coatings could be used on curved surfaces.
“Flexible glass could play a big role in window, canopy, smart building, and other building and transportation products. We believe that flexible glass can serve an even more valuable purpose by generating electricity using SolarWindow™ coatings,” said John A. Conklin, President and CEO of SolarWindow Technologies, Inc.
The company needed to be sure that the coating could be applied to curved glass without breaking or cracking. The coating can be applied using the same techniques used for flat glass, including high speed (roll-to-roll) and large area (sheet-to-sheet) manufacturing. Solar power stored in the transparent coating is added to a building’s existing electrical system using a proprietary interconnection system, which can also be used to connect directly to fixtures.
Along with designing several version of electricity-generating coatings, SolarWindow is also on its way to manufacturing their product at a large scale. In October, the company announced that the SolarWindow coatings were successfully manufactured using autoclave-manufacturing, a common method of producing layered flat or curved glass.
SolarWindow coatings are not commercially available yet. The company claims that applying energy-generating coatings to windows on a skyscraper or other large building with glass windows could reduce electricity costs up to 50 percent for a 50-story building.
The success of the autoclave technique “marks a major milestone for the production of commercial electricity-generating windows, our early target market,” Conklin said in October.