11/15/2010

Solar Glass Generates Electricity

Unveiled at Taipei's International Optoelectronics Week, China's Hua Qin developed a glass panel that both provides sunlight blocking out the elements, and uses that energy to produce electricity.  This is a great breakthrough in solar technology that can provide great opportunities in sustainable design.  The product is not yet on the market, but hopefully in about 10-15 years or maybe sooner, a commercial prototype and manufacturing process is developed.  The windows are slightly foggy and come in various levels of opacity.  The more haze the more energy they will produce.  This technology will serve great use is skylight installations, clearstory windows, large industrial and institutional facilities that don't necessarily require direct exterior views, and best of all skyscrapers.  With the amount of surface area that is exposed to the sun, many buildings can be taken off the grid.  Of course these windows alone cannot produce enough energy to take you fully off the grid, but they can certainly create a healthy dent in the energy bill.  Instead of fighting over air rights, developers may soon be fighting over sun rights!

Photo via Engadget



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