Commercial building PV transformation? Here are two new solar glass solutions getting buzz

Endorsed by leading glass and fabrication companies including Pilkington, AGC, and Walters & Wolf, Solaria is ready to roll out its PowerVision product, which could transform building facades, skylights, canopies and other structural components into power-generating assets. At the same time, SolarWindow Technologies, developer of electricity-generating windows for tall towers and skyscrapers, has entered into an agreement for the fabrication of SolarWindow products with suburban Los Angeles-based Triview Glass Industries, LLC.

Inside PowerVision

PowerVision 9.2017

Deployment of Solaria’s patented technology —which leverages the reliability and efficiency of crystalline silicon technology— enables structures to generate electricity cleanly and reliably.

“By reimagining commercial and residential building structures, Solaria has devised its PowerVision glass in inventive new ways so that nearly every aspect of a building envelope —beyond the rooftop— can generate electricity,” said Nick Bagatelos, President of Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems, Inc. “PowerVision builds on the success of PowerXT to enable building owners and developers to turn skylights, windows and building facades into electricity-generating assets. Seamlessly integrated and easily installed into building designs, Solaria’s patented PowerVision transforms buildings into on-site clean power plants.”

“There’s increased demand to evolve building designs to incorporate more solar solutions, and construct, when possible, high performance, Net Zero Energy structures,” noted Solaria CEO Suvi Sharma. “Buildings currently account for forty percent of the world’s energy use — to power light, heat, cool buildings. Now architects, developers and builders can deploy solar everywhere – in skylights, windows and building facades, as well as on rooftops.”

Solaria’s unique solar cell process technology has allowed the company to develop an architecturally beautiful vision glass that can be used in locations not typically associated with solar panels; these include skylights, patios, and window openings, providing a see-through surface that generates electricity. Building owners and occupants accrue many benefits – as solar-outfitted windows mitigate the sunlight’s effect on a building. When combined with high-efficiency solar PV modules, together they offer a seamless strategy to unlock the full power potential of buildings with technologies that boost energy generation, providing high yield at a low cost.

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Extensively tested and demonstrated at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s FLEXLAB, Solaria PowerVision has proven to deliver a unique combination of high performance and high power density with optimized thermal performance, effective daylighting, and glare control.

Details on SolarWindow

The prospect of generating electricity on commercial buildings, which consume nearly 40% of all electricity generated in the US, is made possible when transparent SolarWindow electricity-generating liquid coatings are applied to glass surfaces.

As the company’s select regional fabricator in North America, Triview Glass will work to fabricate specific SolarWindow electricity-generating glass products at commercial scale by integrating SolarWindow technologies into its manufacturing processes.

Commercial buildings are ideal customers for electricity-generating windows, which could reduce electricity demand by 30%-50% and provide a one-year financial payback, according to independently-validated engineering modeling for a 50-story building.

Recently, the company achieved an important fabrication step leading to today’s announcement. SolarWindow electricity-generating coatings were successfully processed through the rigorous autoclave system for window glass lamination at Triview.

Layered with SolarWindow coatings, glass modules were subjected to the extremely high heat and pressure of autoclave equipment located at Triview. Despite the harsh conditions, subsequent performance testing confirmed that SolarWindow modules continued to produce electricity, paving the way for today’s announcement and eventual deployment of the company’s electricity-generating glass products.

— Solar Builder magazine

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