Solar power is one of the best energy sources available to us. It’s clean, renewable, and very powerful. For years the trouble has been finding cost-effective ways to capture that power. There have been many advances in this technology over the last couple of decades, but the challenge of finding efficient and cost-effective options is still very real. Not to worry! There are several innovative companies that have taken up the challenge and are working hard to find new and better ways to collect solar power and turn it into usable electricity. One focus of these companies is creating solar windows.
Solar windows are exactly what their name implies. These are windows that act as solar panels, absorbing UV and infrared light and converting it into electricity. Sadly, solar windows are not readily available for residential use yet, but there are a few companies that are getting close to making this solar power dream a reality. In order to keep you up to date on the future of solar power technology we’ve done some research and compiled a list of companies to watch. You’ll want to keep an eye on these businesses in the upcoming years if you’re interested in turning your home or business into an energy-efficient masterpiece.
Top 5 Companies To Watch In The Search For The Best Solar Windows
- PHYSEE Creators of SmartSkin, Smart Windows, and SolarWin
- SolarWindow Technologies, Inc. Creators of SolarWindows
- Ubiquitous Energy: Creators of Fully Transparent Solar Coating
- EnergyGlass: Creators of EnergyGlass Solar Windows
- SolarGaps: Creators of Solar Blinds
Companies To Watch In The Search For The Best Solar Windows
Quick Look: Creators of energy-saving glass solutions for large businesses. Their products include smart windows and solar windows. Based out of Zuid-Holland, Netherlands.
Heating and cooling costs make up a large chunk of every business’s budget. One way that businesses can help to decrease these costs is through proper window treatments that mediate the effects of the sun’s heat as sunlight comes through the windows. That is why so many people are beginning to switch to smart blinds or windows which automatically open or close according to the weather.
Physee decided to take this idea a little farther by creating SmartSkin, a combination of multiple solar and smart products that combine to make your windows into the perfect thermostat control system. They use solar window technology to collect solar power and smart window technology to help moderate the heating and cooling effects of the climate, helping to save more than 20% in energy costs.
Their solar windows are designed to be luminescent solar concentrators. This basically means that they use a special luminescent coating over the window to absorb excess light and re-emit it toward photovoltaic modules so that it can be converted into electricity. The main goal for Physee to combine their technology with that of other solar companies to create energy-neutral skyscrapers and other commercial buildings.
Quick Look: Creators of SolarWindows, fully-transparent solar windows designed to produce 50x more power than traditional solar panels. Based out of Vestal, New York, USA
SolarWindows Technologies, Inc. is a company that is working toward completely reinventing solar power and how we collect it. Their focus is solely on creating fully-transparent highly efficient solar windows. These windows are designed to be 50x more efficient at collecting solar power than traditional solar panels. They are hoping to have their windows available for purchase in 2021.
Not only are these windows going to help the environment by producing clean energy, but they are also made out of renewable organic materials. This means that even the manufacturing process is better for the environment. This is great for consumers as well because they predict that these solar windows will be so efficient that they will pay for themselves within a year.
The power of these solar windows is found in an innovative clear coating made mainly from hydrogen and carbon. This works to form ultra-tiny solar cells that form arrays; these arrays absorb the power of the sun and turn it into usable electricity. Because the majority of the materials they use are naturally occurring, they refer to this as an organic photovoltaic solar array. This coating can be used on glass or even flexible plastics, meaning that the options are endless.
Quick Look: Creators of truly transparent photovoltaic coating for windows and other surfaces. Based out of Redwood City, California, USA
Traditional solar panels have improved a lot over the last decade as far as efficiency is concerned, but they aren’t exactly aesthetically pleasing. Many business owners are hesitant to install them because the panels would alter the look of their building’s architecture. Transparent solar windows on the other hand could be installed in any building without changing the building’s design.
Well, at Ubiquitous Energy, they decided to take this idea one step further. They have developed a transparent coating that can be used not only on windows but on the screens of electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones as well. This coating could be used to turn just about anything with a screen into a solar-powered device, even larger objects like digital signage.
This technology works by capturing only UV and infrared light while allowing all other visible light to pass through. The coating is made from non-toxic materials and is designed to be very cost-effective. Ubiquitous Energy’s long-term goal is for their solar coating to be available for anyone who wants to switch their devices to solar power. Currently, they are working with several glass manufacturers to produce solar windows, but they are unlikely to stop there.
Quick Look: Creators of EnergyGlass, fully insulated and disaster-resistant solar windows. Based out of Riviera Beach, Florida, USA
The best solar windows are those that can produce a good amount of energy while still being completely transparent. Well, that is exactly what you’ll find with EnergyGlass windows. They are 100% clear, there are no dots, lines, or wires obstructing the view. These windows are designed to extract energy from every type of light, from direct sunlight to soft artificial lighting.
EnergyGlass windows can produce 1 to 4 Watts of power per square foot each hour depending on the weather and light exposure. The energy can be inverted and returned to the grid or it can be used to charge battery banks and used for DC powered appliances.
One of the more interesting features of these solar windows is that they are not only quality solar panels, but they are also quality windows. They are fully insulated and designed to be disaster-resistant. They offer single, double, and triple insulated windows for commercial installation.
Quick Look: Creators of window blinds with solar panel slats. Based out of San Francisco, California, USA and Kyiv, Ukraine.
While we’re waiting for solar windows to become more readily available for residential use, there is another option: SolarGap solar blinds. These blinds allow you to protect your home from too much sunlight and collect solar energy at the same time. These blinds have sensors that automatically adjust them according to the weather or you can adjust them using your smartphone app or smart home hub.
SolarGap’s solar blinds are available for commercial and residential use. Although they are a bit costly to install, they will quickly pay for themselves. Even the residential-sized blinds can produce 100W per square meter per hour under the right conditions. They come with an inverter that automatically converts the DC solar power into AC electricity to easily power your household appliances.
The inventors of SolarGaps have a strong commitment to improving solar energy technology so that eventually everyone can have access to free solar power. Their eventual goal is for solar-powered homes to power the grid instead of the grid powering homes.
How We Chose The Best Solar Window Developers To Watch
There are many talented scientists and inventors working every day to improve solar power technology and to make it more readily available for the average consumer. We didn’t feature these particular companies because they were necessarily better than the others, these are just a few of the companies that stand out. We chose them based on their high levels of innovation and the likelihood of their products being available either now or in the near future.
Each of the companies we feature on our list had their own unique approach to turning windows into solar power generators. From organic glass coating to solar panel blinds, each company approached the challenge from a different direction and each one produced an interesting and useful solution.
Making The Dream A Reality
A few of these companies already have products on the market, although most are only available for commercial buildings at this time. The companies that are still in development are well on their way to the production stage and should have products available in the next couple of years. That makes these the businesses to watch in the upcoming months as they continue to pursue quality clean energy options for everyone.
A Short Guide To Solar Windows
Just in case you’re still not quite sure about solar windows, here is a little information that you may find helpful.
How Do Solar Windows Work?
As you may have guessed, there are a few different types of solar windows in the works right now and most companies are fairly secretive about how their technology works. Thankfully, there is still some general information that we can pass on to help improve your understanding of the basic concept.
The reason that traditional solar panels are so dark is that they are made with dark sheets of silicon that absorb UV light. Obviously, these dark sheets of silicon won’t work for clear solar panels, so scientists had to come up with something completely different. This is where the quantum dots come in. Quantum dots are microscopic particles of silicon that catch short light wavelengths like UV and infrared light. The dots then re-emit those lightwaves which can then be absorbed by solar cells that are typically installed along the outer edge of the window. The quantum dots can be embedded in the glass or laid on the surface of the glass via a special coating.
Why The Wait?
What To Do While You Wait For The Best Solar Windows
For all of our major solar enthusiasts, waiting for solar windows to come out may be a bit frustrating. Thankfully, you shouldn’t have to wait much longer. Plus, there are many more subtle ways that you can transition to solar power while you wait.
Traditional monocrystalline solar panels may not be great for windows, but they are more efficient now than ever before. You can, of course, have large panels installed on your roof or in your yard to power your home if you want to go completely off the grid or you could go with something a little smaller. There are many solar panels that you can purchase individually for use around the house for your smaller electricity needs.
You can also invest in solar products that come with their own solar chargers such as solar lights, fans, and fountains. With the increase in solar efficiency, there has been a huge increase in solar products. You may be surprised at the variety you can find. Next time you purchase an electric-powered item, especially outdoor items, check for a solar-powered version, you never know what you may find.
When it comes to switching to solar, one of the easiest places to start is solar-powered battery chargers. Many of the products we use every day require charging, why not take advantage of free solar power to keep your phone battery in the green? Many of these chargers are budget-friendly and ultra-portable, making them a handy thing to have whether you’re trying to go green or not.
Solar windows could very well be the wave of the future. Although the technology is not quite perfected yet, there have been many recent breakthroughs meaning that we could be seeing these windows in residential use as soon as next year.
In order to keep up to date on the progress of this technology, just keep an eye on our featured companies. Each of these companies is working toward creating the best solar windows. They are also committed to creating affordable solar energy options for everyone. With their hard work and the dedication of solar enthusiasts like you, we can work together to help move the world toward using more clean renewable energy. We hope you have found this information helpful and that it has further inspired you to continue on your journey toward switching to solar.