Solar windows use “invisible” wires
The company is developing the windows specifically for use in urban office buildings, which consume about 40% of all electricity nationwide. The coating incorporates “invisible wires” that transport the generated electricity to the building’s electrical system. The “invisible wires” are about 50µm wide, about half of the width of a human hair. The wires are virtually undetectable by the human eye. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the electricity generating glass is able to be mass produced
Solar Window Technologies claims that the windows offer a one-year payback, based on installation on a 50-story building. That compares with a return-on-investment period of between 5-11 years using conventional solar collection over a 10-12 acre installation. Although the company has specifically targeted the product for urban structures, the glass could also be installed in residential structures.
The company has also been working on a way to convert existing windows to solar collectors without requiring replacement of the existing glass surface. The windows are still in the development stage and are not currently available. Solar Window Technologies does not yet know when it will be able to bring the solar windows to market, but it has been working closely with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop the product, with the intent of rapid commercialization.
Windows play an increasingly important role in buildings, both for light transmission and energy consumption. Glassprimer™ glass paint can be used to help control light and the buildup of heat. Glassprimer™ glass paint is UV-resistant and exceptionally durable, in part because it forms a permanent bond with the surface of the glass. Controlling solar heat gain can also significantly reduce energy consumption, and prevent heat loss in the winter.
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Photo Credit: Fellowship of the Rich, via Flickr.com