It has been almost a year now that we got our first glimpes of these solar glass windows. These window panes, created by Hua Quin, do double duty to block out the elements and create energy for your home. The windows have a slight haze to them and depending on how much energy you want to produce from the window, they become more hazy. Due to the windows haze, it may not be the best product for housing, but their a many advantages to be had by using these solar windows on sky scrapers. Now a days people can now map their buildings to see where the most sunlight hits, and install very opaque solar windows on those sections of the building in order to optimize the sun’s rays.
The first building to jump on this solar glass idea is Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower (formally known as the Sears Tower). The tower is to become a pilot to many, becoming a massive vertical solar plant. The high-profile project on the south side of the tower will replace windows with the new type of photovoltaic glass developed by Pythagoras Solar which preserves daylighting and views while reducing heat gain and producing the same energy as a conventional solar panel. The project could grow to 2 MW in size — which is comparable to a 10 acre field of solar panels — turning North America’s tallest building into a huge urban vertical solar farm!
The product has the potential to breakthrough in energy efficiency in glass towers, where solar heat gain is the bane of energy-efficient design. Of course you could use it in homes, but it seems to be the most beneficial in skyscrapers. Just think, we could even do this to some Boston Buildings, such as the John Hancock Tower.