news – February 2020
Truly Transparent Solar Windows
The world’s first working prototype transparent solar cell designed to harvest ambient light and generate electricity.
By Steve Panosian
UBIQUITOUS ENERGY, THE LEADER IN TRANSPARENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGY, has installed the world’s first truly transparent solar window façade at its company headquarters in Redwood City, CA.
Approximately 100 square feet of transparent solar windows have been installed as an exterior facing window façade replacing the previous single pane windows. This Ubiquitous Energy window façade installation demonstrates the ability to generate clean, renewable energy while maintaining aesthetic beauty, high transparency, and color neutrality.
Each double pane window has been glazed into a fiberglass frame, matching the existing aesthetic of the building’s windows. The windows produce electricity that is being used to power the LED lighting in the adjacent room, while simultaneously maintaining the performance of standard commercial window glass. The façade is also connected to an energy management system that monitors and logs its power generation.
This groundbreaking installation builds on what TD Magazine has been reporting: solar technology continues to evolve as it relates to the new world of sustainable design, with expanding solutions for home, work, and our mobile lifestyles.
Ubiquitous Energy’s patented technology, Clear View PowerTM, when applied directly on glass using standard glass coating equipment, the solar film coating is highly transparent and color neutral. The transparent solar coating selectively absorbs and converts non-visible light (ultraviolet and infrared) to electricity while maintaining visible transparency. It also doubles as a low-E and solar control coating in addition to its electricity generation by blocking infrared light that is commonly known as solar heat. The transparent solar coating can be applied to vertical surfaces of buildings turning traditional windows into aesthetically pleasing, highly energy efficient, and electricity generating windows that are desired by architects, designers, and occupants.
Ubiquitous Energy’s vision is clear and growing brighter with this first step in commercializing their technological advancement. Clear View PowerTM solar film can be applied to virtually any glass or plastic surface. Buildings, residences, automobiles, buses, anything with windows, and the technology can be adapted to work indoors too on virtually any device including mobile phones, IoT devices, or anything that uses conventional power sources.
Indoor view of UE’s HQ Conference Room. Their Clear View PowerTM Solar Film technology both powers the room’s lighting requirements and blocks out unwanted heat from the sun’s UV and IR properties, further supporting sustainable energy usage and savings.
from the inside
For those inside a home or building enjoying this new sustainable energy source, the other fascinating attribute about this technology is its ability to capture UV and IR light without passing heat into the living space or in this case an office area. In Ubiquitous Energy’s Headquarters in Redwood City, CA, the energy produced from their Clear View PowerTM treated windows powers the lighting in their conference room and shields the area directly inside the sun’s light path with over 80 percent light pass efficiency. The room is vibrant with sunlight but stays cool without the ambient UV and IR created heat.
“Not only did we improve the thermal insulation in the conference room by replacing the single pane windows,” says Ubiquitous Energy Co-founder and CTO Miles Barr, “but also our Ubiquitous Energy windows generate enough electricity to power the lighting in the conference room. We are thrilled with the outcome of this installation and look forward to completing other installation projects in the near future.”
“I have been looking at BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaics) since 1999 and this is the best thing I have ever seen in BIPV,” adds Scott Thomsen, former Guardian Industries President.
This first prototype is truly groundbreaking, and TD Magazine is extremely enthusiastic in providing you with updates on UE’s installation and development progress.
For more on Ubuiquitous Energy, visit UbiquitousEnergy.com