Asahi Glass teams with US startup for solar cell windows

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The collaboration will focus on the development of Ubiquitous Energy’s transparent and colour neutral solar coating to create windows that produce electricity.

“We have been watching Ubiquitous Energy since its beginning and believe that this collaboration will fit in perfectly with our strategy of providing the best environmentally friendly glass solutions,” said Marc Van Den Neste, CTO of the Building & Industrial Company of AGC. “By creating aesthetically pleasing, transparent, power-producing glass, we will equip designers and architects with a BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaic) solution that is beautiful and seamlessly integrated.”

The coating, ClearView Power, selectively absorbs and converts non-visible light (ultraviolet and infrared) to electricity while transmitting visible light. It also doubles as a solar control coating in addition to its electricity generation by blocking infrared light. The transparent solar coating can be applied to vertical surfaces of buildings, turning traditional windows into highly energy efficient and electricity generating windows that are aesthetically pleasing and acceptable to architects, designers, and occupants.Applied directly to glass using standard glass coating equipment, ClearView Power is a highly transparent, colour neutral coating. Using standard thin film coating equipment will enable more than 8 billion square metres of glass produced each year to be converted into solar cells for buildings.

“As world leader in glass and glass coatings, AGC is an ideal partner for us. Their experience in bringing advanced glass and BIPV technologies to the market will help us accelerate the development and commercialization of our transparent solar technology,” said Ubiquitous Energy Founder and CEO, Miles Barr. “The architectural glass market has shown great interest in adopting our technology to enable next-generation transparent, power-producing windows.”

Spun out of MIT in 2012, Ubiquitous Energy is now producing its highly transparent, efficient solar cells in its pilot production facility in Silicon Valley. It has raised $25m so far from a number of mostly small funds and ex-basketball layer Baron Davis.

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