SolarWindow Technologies today announced plans to replace traditional electrical wiring connections with a simplified next-generation system for collecting the power produced by its see-through electricity-generating windows. In addition to reducing costs, ease of electrical installation will be important to window fabricators, glass installers (i.e., glaziers), electricians, and maintenance personnel.
The replacement of today’s cumbersome methods with the Company’s easy power connection system (‘module interconnects’) is also important for new construction and retrofit applications of SolarWindow™ electricity-generating window modules on skyscrapers and tall towers.
SolarWindow™ products, currently under development, already boast the industry’s fastest published financial payback of less than one year. Last month, the Company’s Power Production and Financial Model was reviewed and validated by a team of third-party, independent engineers and scientists at the University of North Carolina Charlotte Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (UNCC-EPIC).
“We have always had absolute confidence in the financial case for our SolarWindow™ products, and with the support of independent validations, we’re now focused on addressing the very real needs of future customers and end-users.
“Low-cost scale-up and manufacturing, ease-of-installation, and warranties are at the top of our list of ongoing development efforts,” explained Mr. John A. Conklin, President and CEO of SolarWindow Technologies, Inc.
Recently, based on encouraging durability test results that show transparent SolarWindow™ electricity-generating coatings have the capability of meeting or exceeding warranty periods for commercial-grade window products, the Company announced plans to accelerate its durability testing. Working see-through SolarWindow™ modules have set records for both size and power production.
A single installation of SolarWindow™ products on all four sides of tall towers could generate 50-times greater power than traditional rooftop systems and 15-times their environmental benefits.
Module Interconnection: Solar Install Made Easier
For those who will be involved in the manufacturing, installation, and retrofitting of SolarWindow™ products, today’s announcement could prove especially important.
The newly-announced easy connection system would allow glaziers and electricians to collect electricity from SolarWindow™ modules by connecting building wires anywhere along the entire edge of the glass inside the window frame. Previously, electricity generated on SolarWindow™ modules was collected at individual, hard-wired points on the glass.
As a result of this new interconnection system:
- Sheets of electricity-generating glass could be manufactured to allow connection points for wiring anywhere along the entire edge of the window.
- High-speed and high-volume production processing becomes far easier when individual solder points are replaced with an entire edge surface capable of collecting electricity;
- SolarWindow™ installers would not need special wiring connections; and
- Electricians could connect their building wiring at any point along the edge of the glass rather than seeking specific soldering points.
Previously, glass window manufacturers would be required to physically apply electricity collection terminals on to the glass at specific points along the edge. Then, glaziers and installers would need to be especially attentive to ensure that these terminals were within reach of electrical wiring connections, inside a conduit or building wall. Finally, electricians would be required to make a physical connection to building wires at specific electricity collection points on the glass.
This traditional installation process could be space constraining, time consuming, labor intensive, and create potential maintenance issues; hence, the need for a simplified system.
“There’s little doubt in my mind that this new interconnection approach could substantially simplify the installation of SolarWindow™ products.
Commercial photovoltaic design and installation specialist, Mr. Kelly Provence commented:
While the rapid calculated financial payback of SolarWindow™ is impressive, ease-of-use and installation make customer acquisition and product adoption so much easier.
Mr. Provence is America’s first expert in his field to concurrently hold four of the most coveted certifications from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. He holds three NABCEP certifications; Certified PV Installation Professional, Certified PV Technical Sales Professional and Certified Solar Thermal Installer and has been a Licensed Master Electrician since 1995.
The replacement of soldering points and individual electrical connections with a single power-strip makes it far easier for everyone involved in manufacturing, installation and maintenance – a wonderful engineering approach.
SolarWindow™ products are under development in aesthetically attractive colors in high demand by architects, designers, and building developers. Unique to SolarWindow™, its technology is capable of generating electricity from both natural light and artificial light sources such as fluorescent systems inside offices. SolarWindow™ also works in both direct and indirect or shaded light conditions, making installation possible on all four sides of commercial towers.
For conventional solar systems to produce the equivalent amount of power as a single tower with SolarWindow™ installation would require at least 5-11 years for payback and at least 10-12 acres of valuable urban land.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.