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New Energy’s SolarWindow: Generating Electricity through a Transparent Solar Cell

published: 2014-05-09 16:25

New Energy Technologies Inc., developer of see-through SolarWindow™ coatings, capable of generating electricity on glass and flexible plastics, announced that its technology has set a new record for generating electricity while remaining see-through with over 50% greater power than prior attempts publicized by others.

The SolarWindow™ developed by New Energy. (Photo Credit: New Energy Technologies, Inc.)

Using today’s certified power-production data, New Energy engineers estimate that a SolarWindow™ installation on a fifty story commercial building located in Florida could generate enough electricity to power at least 100 homes while eliminating the equivalent carbon emissions produced by vehicles driving approximately 2,750,000 miles per year.

The company’s announcement is based on results of independent testing and certification of its SolarWindow™ modules by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Based on this newly validated data from the high-performance modules unveiled on March 26, 2014, New Energy’s review of prevailing published literature and scientific reports confirmed that SolarWindow™ modules outperform publicized devices of comparable architecture, size, and design by over 53% in terms of power production – a major achievement and new record. The Company’s certified, high-performance module is the most efficient organic photovoltaic (OPV) module ever measured by NREL’s Device Performance Measurement Laboratory.

Typically, OPV performance tests are conducted on small ‘lab-scale’ devices, which generally measure only 1 square inch (in2) or smaller due to the challenging nature of OPV scale-up for see-through (semi-transparent) devices. New Energy’s latest, high-performance SolarWindow™ module measures 36 in² (232 square centimeters or cm2).

“We’ve long been confident that our SolarWindow™ modules are more power efficient and larger than any other like-technology. Now, our target customers - engineers, glass companies, architects, and building developers - know this to be the case,” announced Mr. John A. Conklin, President and CEO of New Energy Technologies, Inc.

“We are engineering our see-through SolarWindow™ products to generate sustainable electricity, and be aesthetically attractive, while being developed at a cost which makes economic sense to our customers,” continued Mr. Conklin. “We also remain mindful of ease-of-manufacturing, scale-up of size, and overall environmental benefits – all important considerations for our potential customers and future commercial partners in the commercial buildings sector.”

“We’ve worked hard to achieve both large-scale and high power conversion efficiency,” explained Dr. Scott Hammond, Principal Scientist at New Energy Technologies, Inc. “Our record-breaking SolarWindow™ module is the result of various methods of fabrication and materials, which have helped us overcome numerous challenges unique to our OPV device technology.”

The large-area SolarWindow™ has been fabricated through the efforts of New Energy Development Team (from L to R) Dana Olson, PhD, Scientist, NREL; Scott Mauger, PhD, Scientist, NREL; Maikel van Hest, PhD, Scientist, NREL; and Scott Hammond, PhD, Principal Scientist, New Energy. (Photo: New Energy Technologies, Inc.)

Being a world-class solar-photovoltaic research institution, NREL has been credited for ground-floor support of many of the commercial technologies employed by today’s renewable energy industries in its 37-year history. Working through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, NREL and New Energy advance the SolarWindow™ technology for generating electricity on glass windows. SolarWindow™ researchers, in addition, have rapidly developed New Energy’s technology from its early beginnings as a tiny, experimental lab device to a first-of-its-kind, see-through glass window capable of generating electricity. Today, the technology is the subject of forty-two patent filings, and researchers are on track to advance SolarWindow™ towards full-scale commercial manufacturability – a near term goal.


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