Electricity-generating windows in commercial buildings

Pilot projects for electricity-generating windows in commercial buildings are gaining momentum, and studies (utilising annual data of sunlit areas in cities) have claimed that the potential of electricity generation from the windows on a high-rise building could be in the GWh range.

Today, the largest established base of installations is of crystalline silicon (c-Si) manufactured into strings and laminated in glass, which has been sold since 2009. One reason for this is that c-Si is some decades old and is proven to last in performance and aesthetics for more than 25 years. This reassures building owners and designers. The weakness is the non-uniform transparency (lines created by the c-Si strings give a “grating” effect), and a maximum of 60% visible transparency. Ultimately this results in a disadvantage that so far has prevented the market from truly taking off. However, there is a strengthening case for use of this glass horizontally placed, as in a skylight, or integrated into the building envelope as a facade. In other words, glass areas which are not meant to be looked through. The volume of this market could be in the order of hundreds of thousands of m2 a year.

Contact Charlotte Martin, IDTechex, c.martin@idtechex.com



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Source: EE plublishers

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