Stellaris is developing a window that is not only completely transparent but also generates electricity with a power density comparable to high-efficiency (and opaque) PV modules. Its ClearPower window has the potential to annually harvest almost as much energy as a high-efficiency, conventional PV module in the same orientation, all while maintaining complete transparency.
We do this with a novel method of encapsulating PV cells. Narrow strips of crystalline silicon PV cells are embedded in thin, horizontal cavities in a polymer glazing. The PV cells are optically coupled and protected by a liquid filling the cavities that has the same refractive index as the polymer glazing. The glazing is of the same dimensions and form factor as a pane or lite in an insulated glass unit (IGU) and may serve as the intermediate lite in a triple-glazed insulated glass window or as a rain screen.
The result is a glazing resembling a pane of glass with embedded miniature Venetian blinds. Views are no l...
Stellaris is developing a window that is not only completely transparent but also generates electricity with a power density comparable to high-efficiency (and opaque) PV modules. Its ClearPower window has the potential to annually harvest almost as much energy as a high-efficiency, conventional PV module in the same orientation, all while maintaining complete transparency.
We do this with a novel method of encapsulating PV cells. Narrow strips of crystalline silicon PV cells are embedded in thin, horizontal cavities in a polymer glazing. The PV cells are optically coupled and protected by a liquid filling the cavities that has the same refractive index as the polymer glazing. The glazing is of the same dimensions and form factor as a pane or lite in an insulated glass unit (IGU) and may serve as the intermediate lite in a triple-glazed insulated glass window or as a rain screen.
The result is a glazing resembling a pane of glass with embedded miniature Venetian blinds. Views are no less restricted than they would be with conventional Venetian blinds in their open position; indeed, the PV cells are so small that they disappear from view from a few feet away. The wires interconnecting the cells are extremely fine, as the cells are typically connected in series, resulting in low amperages.
Most low-angle sunlight passes through the window without producing much electricity. At the other extreme, all sunlight at steep angles is absorbed by the PV cells, producing full power. This also serves to mitigate solar heat gain into buildings during summer months, reducing air conditioning loads. Computer modeling demonstrates that the annual energy performance of the embedded horizontal cells is like that of low-angle ballasted PV modules installed on flat roofs.
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Jim Paull
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Jim Paull CEO Seasoned entrepreneur and passionate innovator with many years of experience running energy-related manufacturing companies.