Here at The Optimist Daily, we love sharing stories about the exciting advancements that we are making in terms of discovering and fashioning creative ways that we can harvest clean, green, and renewable energy.
One of the threads of renewable energy we’ve been following closely is solar power, and how we’re learning to harness the sun’s life-giving light as effectively as possible. A steadily improving sector of the wider solar industry is solar glass to produce solar windows.
We’ve been keeping a close eye on the progress of solar windows since their early days when researchers were only beginning to develop ways to make solar cells transparent. We’ve shared when scientists have found ways to increase the efficiency of transparent solar cells. As the industry continued to grow, we wrote about creative applications of transparent solar cells used within greenhouses to help grow food, solar cells infused with algae that generate green energy while cleaning the air, and colorful windows that harvest indoor and outdoor light—amazing!
Now, solar windows are getting another significant boost. The US window manufacturing giant Anderson Corporation has decided to dedicate $30 million worth of funding to the solar windows company Ubiquitous Energy to help them on their quest to integrate solar power technology into everyday surfaces.
A group of scientists and engineers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Michigan State University founded Ubiquitous Energy in 2011, and according to them their technology, known as UE Power, is the only patented and transparent photovoltaic glass coating that makes transparent solar cells visibly indistinguishable from regular windows.
UE Power solar windows, which produce up to approximately 50 percent of the power of conventional rooftop solar panels per given surface area, are meant to complement solar panels rather than replace them.
With the Andersen Corporation’s funding, solar window technology has an opportunity to break into the mainstream market which could potentially lead to a significant decrease in our emissions overall. According to Ubiquitous Energy, the “broad adoption of EU Power within the architectural glass has the opportunity to offset up to an estimated 10 percent of global emissions, greatly reducing the 40 percent of global carbon emissions that come from buildings and improving their energy efficiency at the same time.”
Jay Lund, the chairman and chief executive officer of Anderson Corporation has expressed that the company “is excited to support the work of Ubiquitous Energy to bring solar power into homes through windows—creating new opportunities for energy efficiency, cost savings, and smart home integrations that will both delight homeowners and contribute to a healthier planet.”