Today’s invisible microgrid wires are thinner than an average human hair. When applied in a grid pattern, the new, virtually invisible wire system increases power and performance while improving the visual aesthetics of SolarWindow systems, currently under development.
The process developed for these new virtually invisible wires is solution processable, faster, and can be applied using high speed roll-to-roll (R2R) or large area sheet-to-sheet (S2S) equipment, all compatible with the company’s SolarWindow module production and deployment strategy.
Despite the extremely fine wiring microgrid, SolarWindow glass coatings will continue to serve as a deterrent to bird collisions, an ongoing environmental concern for glass manufacturers and window producers. According to the American Bird Conservancy, up to a billion birds die in collisions with glass each year in the U.S. In response, cities are increasingly adopting building codes to address the issue.
NREL is among the world’s most respected and advanced solar-photovoltaic research institutions, and over its 38-year history has been credited for ground-floor support of many of the commercial technologies employed by today’s renewable energy industries. NREL and SolarWindow have been working through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to advance the company’s SolarWindow technology for generating electricity on glass windows.
SolarWindow modules are designed as transparent glass windows for installation on tall towers and skyscrapers. SolarWindow modeling shows that modules achieve the industry’s fastest published financial payback of less than one year as validated by a team of independent engineers and at the University of North Carolina Charlotte Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (UNCC-EPIC).
Engineers envision installing SolarWindow products on all four sides of tall towers, generating electricity using natural, shaded and even artificial light. Conventional solar does not work in shaded areas or perform under artificial light. As a result, SolarWindow modules outperform today’s rooftop solar by as much as 50-fold more energy generated when modeled for installation on a 50-story building.