The idea of turning whole buildings into envelopes to create power maysound almost too good to be true, but it is getting closer to becoming a reality.
The technology has a name: SolarWindow, which makes it possible togenerate electricity on see-thru glass windows and is being developed by New Energy Technologies. The company is based in Columbia, Maryland,and has been working to develop and promote its technology.
The latest news coming from New Energy regarding SolarWindow is thatthe company’s researchers have achieved a research breakthrough whichthe company says “could result in the replacement of materials prone tobreakdown and degradation”.
“Early-on, we focused on developing electricity-generating coatingswhich remain transparent and can be applied onto glass surfaces atroom-temperature. These goals were successfully achieved by ourresearchers and publicly demonstrated late last year,” explained Mr.John A. Conklin, President and CEO of New Energy Technologies. “Thisyear, our sights are set on commercial product development targets, such as power output, efficiency, durability, reliability, cost, andmanufacturability.”
The company says its researchers are also working to replace “brittle and expensive” materials with easier to handle and low-cost liquidcompounds. These replacement compounds support the movement ofelectrons, which the company says is one of the most important functions for generating electricity on glass surfaces of SolarWindow.
During tests the compounds successfully mobilized the electronsnecessary for generating electricity on prototypes. The solution-basedcompounds were produced without expensive starting materials andscientists have discovered methods that allow for high reproducibility.
Another important aspect is that the liquid compounds currently being developed remain see-thru, are easy to handle, and can be applied atroom temperature and without the use of high-vacuum, pre-requisites forcommercial manufacturing.
“We are one step closer to commercialization of our SolarWindow technology,” said Mr. Conklin.