The possibility of building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solutions, particularly on windows, has been rumored for several years.
Making myth a reality, Pythagoras Solar last year installed windows on the Willis Tower (you might know it as the Sears Tower) in an attempt to demonstrate how effective its PV glass is in providing energy while also raising building energy efficiency ratings. In fact, as Pythagoras notes, its windows are designed to provide impetus to the Net Zero Energy building movement.
Pythagoras BIPV windows offer excellent thermal barriers, shrinking the cost of both heating and cooling a building, first by their insulating capabilities and then by their built-in shading capacity.
More important, at least to the energy portion of the equation, is the fact that Pythagoras solutions offer power densities at least four times greater than other BIPV technologies, yet remain cost effective solutions.
Finally, these “solar windows” offer the latest and best in features like transparency, aesthetics, design parameters and ease of installation and integration.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. In this real-world test of energy generation, efficiency and appearance, Pythagoras is demonstrating its ability to offer BIPV solutions that promote distributed power generation (defined as small-scale generation in the range of 3 to 10,000 kilowatts), net zero energy construction (erecting a building that creates as much energy as it uses), and the urban “green” building trend (efficiency, renewable energy resources, and environmental considerations for water, land use and waste generation) currently sweeping the nation.
And to think it still functions as a window!
Photo Credit: cherrylet via Flickr CC