A clear vision of photovoltaic glazing

Posted on 09 June 2016.

An English company has developed an innovation that will revolutionize solar energy production - colorless, transparent photovoltaic glass.

Transparent, colorless, low-cost, photovoltaic glass that will revolutionize solar power generation - and it has a low carbon impact too!

Integrating photovoltaics into buildings is nothing new. Existing methods rely on discretion, hiding on the rooftops or in the tiles, and even in the form of a transparent film integrated into the glass. However, when stacked it colors the glass and can sometimes even make it opaque.

Hence the revolution brought about by the invention of Polysolar, based in Cambridge (England). Its photovoltaic glass looks like any other glass because it is colorless and transparent. And it produces energy savings.

Free energy and super insulating glass

Electronic printing has made this innovation possible. The photovoltaic layer is simply placed on top of the glass – so the glass is just like any other window or traditional façade. Except it also provides free electricity to the building!

In London, a 40-story office building in Canary Wharf used this technology. Savings claimed: more than a third of energy requirements. In addition, according to Polysolar, the addition of this transparent photovoltaic layer gives the glass better insulating properties than those currently offered by the best insulated glass on the market.

Less transportation for a reduced carbon footprint

Yet another advantage of this transparent photovoltaic glass: it will cover very large areas since it is a low-cost method and similar in many ways to that already used for printing decorative glass.

With this innovation, there’s no longer any need for photovoltaic solutions that come from the other end of the world, particularly from China, the world's largest producer of solar panels.

And Polysolar has already announced plans to promote the emergence of short circuits by installing its technology on the premises of local glass processors. Could it be the advent of a local food approach to photovoltaic electricity? In any case it’s the first step towards a more efficient low-carbon approach to this free, renewable source of energy.