Pilkington North America has installed energy-generating windows at its Northwood, Ohio, USA facility.
The flat glass manufacturer has worked with Ubiquitous Energy (UE) to jointly develop the transparent solar windows, which feature UE’s photovoltaic technology.
This building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technology transforms an average window into a solar cell that generates electricity.
UE’s transparent photovoltaic coating adds an invisible element of power generation by capturing non-visible wavelengths and creating a window that acts as a photovoltaic cell without obstructing the view.
UE Power collects and transmits electricity through an onboard system built discreetly into the window frame.
The collected electricity is then transferred to a battery capable of powering a variety of products and increasing the overall energy efficiency of a building.
These windows can be used in addition to solar cells on a rooftop, as they exponentially increase the area available for power generation on a large building by enabling the full facade to collect energy.
The installation in Northwood also takes a variety of technical data points from the site, such as wind speed, light exposure, and outside temperature.
In a full installation, the data could then be used to integrate with the building’s system controls to determine how to best use the power in the operation of the building.
The Northwood site will use the BIPV system to power exterior signage and lighting. In the future, a larger installation could potentially offset building power consumption.