Sustainability Problem: Not enough roof space for large buildings to go solar
Large commercial estates consume a lot of energy. Roof space is never enough for such buildings to go energy neutral. Therefore, actively using buildings’ facades will generate the much needed renewable energy.
About the technology: Solar Windows
- Solar-power-generating windows have solar cells installed in the edges at a specific angle that allows the incoming solar light to be efficiently transformed into electricity.
- Such windows can generate 8 to 10 watts of power, which enables the user to charge a phone per every square meter two times a day.
- The surface of Power Windows is coated with a special material that transforms incoming visible light into near-infrared light, which is then transported toward the solar cells in the edges of the windows. This works similarly to a glow-in-the-dark star, the difference is that the glow star emits the green wavelength, but the coating on such windows emits light in near-infrared wavelength.
- The cost of the wiring that brings power from the grid to such windows is considerable in large commercial estates, and investing in power-generating windows would, therefore, make commercial sense.
Policy makers (Green Building Codes), Real Estate Contractors, Solar Panel Manufacturers and owners of large commercial and residential buildings.
- Awareness -Several iconic buildings have gone live with solar windows, especially in Netherlands – experience, cost effectiveness and benefits for such buildings should be widely publicized for educational purpose
- Solar panel manufacturers will have to collaborate with researchers to refine this technology for a mass production
- Policy plays a significant role in any city dynamics – effort should begin to include solar windows in any new building codes including retrofit codes
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