IMAGINE AN ORGANIC SUBSTANCE that can be sprayed on to any window in a home—making the window behave like a photovoltaic panel, generating electricity.
The technology is real, and according to its creators, it's ready for prime time--but not quite available in stores yet. In fact, the closest thing solar product currently available is probably the Unisolar 128 Watt Flexible Solar Panel PV Laminate, which is a peel-and-stick solar laminate that can be applied to almost any building surface.
A company called New Energy Technologies (shown here with scientists from the NREL) claims to have successfully developed and tested such a coating, Their SolarWindow prototypes so far look very promising.
The idea of a transparent solar power panel is one of many solar technologies such as solar panels that are not badly impacted by shading, that Green Builder's Celestia Project highlights as probable game changers over the next century.
New Energy is not the first or the only company working on this technology, but their methodology appears to be making strides toward a fully commercialized product. They just released some numbers on how much power this technology might produce, but it's unfortunately obscured by their overly specific modeling scenario: They report that:
"Company engineers estimate that a SolarWindow™ installation on a fifty (50) story commercial building located in Florida could generate enough electricity to power at least 100 homes while eliminating the equivalent carbon emissions produced by vehicles driving approximately 2,750,000 miles per year."
We'd like to see a much simpler analysis, such as watts per square foot of coated glass, so that builders, developers and architects can quickly do the math on whether such technology will be a good fit in projects they may have on the drawing board.
Nonetheless, it's a technology that's moving us in the right direction, away from fracking for natural gas and continued dependence of coal, oil and other dirty fuels.
Visit New Energy's website HERE