What if every window in your house could generate electricity? One Redwood City, California-based startup thinks its technology can achieve that by transforming the way solar power is collected and harnessed.
Ubiquitous Energy has developed transparent solar cells to create its ClearView Power windows, a kind of “solar glass” that can turn sunlight into energy without needing the bluish-grey opaque panels those cells are generally associated with. The company, spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012, hopes to use that tech to turn practically any everyday glass surface into a solar cell.
“It can be applied to windows of skyscrapers; it can be applied to glass in automobiles; it can be applied to the glass on your iPhone,” Miles Barr, Ubiquitous Energy’s founder and chief technology officer, told CNN Business.
The company is looking to capitalize on the United States’ renewable energy boom, with solar and wind energy projected to surpass coal by 2021, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
The company wants its solar windows to complement traditional rooftop panels rather than replace them. The combination of both methods, according to Barr, could bring the net energy consumption of large buildings to zero — meaning they produce as much electricity as they consume.
They are already installing and selling ClearView Power windows in limited sizes, and we’re in the planning phase for a facility that we’ll be able to produce windows at any size,” Barr said.
However, the coronavirus outbreak has forced much of the company’s production planning to be done remotely. But Barr said it is still making “significant progress.”