On July 8, 2015

Can Windows Go Solar?

Solar energy is not new, and neither are solar energy panels.


But solar windows?


According to a February 2015 report by EcoHouse, “British scientists from the University of Leicester are completing development of solution that will allow to use the patented technology of sun-generating films for commercial purposes. The appearance of the product in the market is expected in 2016 and it will contribute to the development of windows which can generate electricity.”


The report went on to say that Norwegian researchers have patented and developed a special coating that acts as a solar battery, which allows the production of eco-energy. The transparent and very thin film absorbs solar energy and converts it into electricity.


And, according to early research, less heat from the sun enters building with the solar window technology, because the infrared light is captured in the window for electricity production. This may reduce energy use for cooling in hot sunny climates.

In late June 2011, U.S.-based New Energy Technologies also filed four new patent requests with the Patent and Trademark Office of the United States for its “SolarWindow” technology that is capable of generating electricity on see-through glass windows. With now a total of 10 patents, the company is advancing their “SolarWindow” into development which includes boosting conversion efficiency.

The company says its SolarWindow units are unique because they not only generate power from exposure to sunlight, but also from artificial fluorescent light found in office buildings.

While the target market for solar windows is primarily commercial – commercial buildings account for 40% of nationwide energy consumption – Norwegian researchers from Ensol AS company consider that the coating can be applied not only on windows, but also can cover the roofs or walls of buildings and the roofs of cars.

It seems that as far as solar energy technology is concerned, 2016 will be a very exciting year.

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