The Future of Green Building: Integrating Solar Power Into Glazing
Image Credit Pythagoras Solar
Office buildings are covered in expensive glass that is usually designed to control solar gain, with tinting, mirroring or fritting (patterns of dots). Israeli startup Pythagoras Solar has a better idea: instead of just bouncing or filtering out sunlight, they build photovoltaics right into the sealed double-glazed units. This is a big step forward, both controlling heat gain and generating electricity.
According to Preston at Jetson Green, they are testing a panel at the 56th floor of the Willis (formerly Sears) tower in Chicago. If the pilot project works out and they reglazed the building in it, it could generate up to two megawatts of electricity.
Pythagoras told Jetson Green in an email the PVGU is priced to deliver a 5-year return on investment - a calculation that includes energy efficiency and power generation gains. Specifically, the PVGU is about $125 per square foot in U.S.-based projects.
According to the brochure from the Pythagoras website, the Photovoltaic Glass Units (PVGU) generate 13 watts per square foot; that's $9.61 per watt; that is a lot, but it also includes the double-glazed window unit. Two megawatts will cost over $19.2 million.
But this is the future of building design, making those glass facades into energy producers instead of just sitting there. More at Jetson Green
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