New Energy Technologies in Maryland says the technology is in place for large scale distribution of solar-powered window conversion kits for all window panes, anywhere. When you think about it, there is so much wasted solar-powered real estate in this country that according to the Audubon Society an estimated 1 billion birds are killed a year by flying into panes of glass. Essentially a solar panel is just a window with solar cells mixed into it, so if we could use our existing window stock to covert the light into solar power, we could cut the production burden of solar by 1/6th of what it is now. So how do you convert your windows into solar?
First you need to collect solar energy with solar cells. New Energy Technologies has come out with what it calls a “spray” which is probably much more like a smearing-type application of solar cells. On the window itself is a small node with a microchip on it that sits in the window collects the electricity. The spray acts as a large contiguous current stream. Thin film technologies are not new, but to be able to install them in a dynamic environment makes them very flexible and the CEO of the company says they can out-perform a variety of technologies currently available by “tenfold”. Windows have come a long way in terms of energy efficiency especially in the last ten years, but actually having the windows paying you back with direct energy seems like it’s only a dream in this industry; a dream that is becoming a reality. It seems for now that the technology isn’t as simple as a paint roller with solar cells on it, but it’s getting there. If we can turn every home or every high-rise building into an energy producer, imagine how much of a burden could be lifted off traditional forms of energy. Until then, make sure you use high quality vinyl windows in your home to make them as energy efficient as you can. We at A&A are suckers for energy efficiency, especially when windows are involved, if any new advancements are made with the “spray” you will hear about it from us.