New coating turns windows into solar panels
A transparent solar coating under development could turn any type of new window into a solar panel.
NEXT Energy Technologies Inc. has developed transparent solar coatings that can be easily applied to windows of all types during production. The company says it has made a breakthrough in organic photovoltaic materials that are printed in a high-speed, low-cost process. The printing technique is readily scalable for widespread use by large commercial window firms.
"It is certainly not an overstatement to describe this technology as a game-changer with far-reaching implications for architecture and buildings of the future," said Daniel Emmett, CEO and co-founder of NEXT Energy Tech. "We foresee a time in the near future when buildings are conceived and valued as much for their energy-generation potential as for the commerce that occurs within their walls."
NEXT Energy Tech recently debuted its technology at Intersolar Europe in Munich, Germany and is currently in discussions with several window manufacturers about launching this game-changing technology into the market.
Emmett estimates that a building sheathed in NEXT-powered windows could produce a significant percent of its energy needs and ultimately enable zero net energy buildings. This would constitute a dramatic reversal, as buildings today consume over 40 percent of global energy.
"NEXT provides the compelling combination of exceptional aesthetics, cost-effectiveness and performance that can deliver real value to building owners and tenants alike," he said. "What's more, the windows look like conventional windows and can be provided in a range of color and light transmission options."
To date NEXT has achieved over 10 percent efficient devices, has demonstrated feasibility of 30-year lifetimes, and expects to have initial product specifications ranges of 7-10 percent efficiency and 50 percent to 10 percent visible light transmission.
"NEXT's product can contribute to a paradigm shift in the power-economics and climate impact of the built environment," said Andy Cohen, Co-CEO of global design firm Gensler and NEXT Board member. "This is what architects have been looking for - an elegant and cost effective solution to help architects meet Zero Net Energy and sustainability goals for the next generation of high performance buildings.
Read more about home solar power.