Solar panels have traditionally been expensive, limited to roof-space and a bit of an eyesore. As the world looks to move away from fossil fuels, more and more ways to harness natural energy from the sun are being sought up.
One of those ways is to capture the sun’s energy into the many windows that span the outside of buildings.
As a window cleaning company that invests in the latest technology and best practices, we got excited when we heard about the idea of solar windows.
One day soon windows could harness energy from the sun to help provide power to homes and businesses. We like to help our customers take advantage of the best technology and services so we were excited to be able to share it in this blog.
So what is solar window technology?
For the most part solar windows are designed to be transparent, and look no different to traditional windows. Some might have a slight tint – especially those that capture greater energy.
They work by sandwiching a thin layer that is invisible to the human eye; this layer is able to capture the sun’s rays, and then convert it out into energy.
As described by solar window manufacturer QbiQD, this is how their technology works:
- Interlayer of quantum dot laminated glass absorbs sunlight
- The dots produce a glow that is trapped by the internal reflection
- The glow/light is guided to the edges of the glass where solar cells generate electricity
Another firm: Solar Window reported in March 2021 an efficiency in their window’s energy generation of 14.72%. They explain that their coating is 1/100th the thickness of a human hair. According to their website their windows can generate 1.3m kwh of annual enery.
There are several firms that are working on solar window technology, some seem to offer greater efficiency than others, and the technology that powers them can differ, but essentially they’re all working towards the same aim.
Solar Window is even talking about installing such technology in auto windscreens and other applications that use glass panels.
How do you buy solar windows?
There currently aren’t any companies supplying solar windows to the public. There are numerous windows in prototype phase and it is likely that some will be available to larger commercial orders initially, however in the coming years they could become more widely available to the public for residential and business use.