Various glazing and coating-type window accessories are in use worldwide as they offer thermal comfort improvements inside buildings, energy savings, and ultraviolet (UV) protection. However, none are capable of capturing the energy that is deflected.
This innovation is a transparent film which, when embedded between panes of glass, can prevent heat and unwanted solar radiation from entering rooms, and re-direct it to the edge of the glass for photovoltaic conversion. This is achieved whilst allowing the natural light to pass through unaltered.
This technology is based on the integration of microengineered optical structures, nano-materials and IR-selective thin-film coatings, to realise stable, long-lifetime and shatterproof clear glass panels that block the UV and IR radiations and harvest them and convert them to electricity via PV cells placed within the window frame.
In regions with hot climates, spectrally-selective “sunshade glazing” could harvest the infrared (IR) solar energy and transform it to electrical energy through photovoltaic conversion. This would result in significant air-conditioning-related energy savings. In hot climates, the innovation protects the inside areas of buildings from incoming infrared radiation, thus reducing energy consumption related to cooling, and conversely, in cold climates, heat can be retained inside a building, thus reducing heating-related energy consumption.
The largest target market is the construction/office building sector. This sector - comprising residential and commercial consumers - accounts for about one-fifth of the world’s total energy consumption. Energy efficiency of buildings is therefore of prime importance, and future building industry regulations will likely have strict energy-efficiency requirements imposed on the architectural design types and on materials to be used in construction. Other targets include the auto vehicle and specialty market sectors which although currently small are also experiencing consistent growth.
The institute is looking for investment in further development or a licensing opportunity from interested companies to develop and exploit the technology.
Generates electrical energy in excess of 25 W/m2