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Solar Research Paves Way for Energy-Harvesting Glass
2/17/2014

UK-based company Oxford Photovoltaics is developing thin-film solar technology that can be printed directly onto glass to enable large-scale use in commercial buildings.   (Source: Oxford Photovoltaics)
UK-based company Oxford Photovoltaics is developing thin-film solar technology that can be printed directly onto glass to enable large-scale use in commercial buildings.
(Source: Oxford Photovoltaics)

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Elizabeth M
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Re: SOLAR RESEARCH
Elizabeth M   3/5/2014 5:25:12 AM
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Thanks for sharing your story, bobjengr. It shows the steps that often need to be taken along the way to achieve innovation, and it's interesting to see how far engineers have come. It sounds like at the time your invention was pretty state of the art! But you look back now and consider it "made by monkeys." It's always interesting the hindsight experience gives us.

Mydesign
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Re: Pasting over outer walls
Mydesign   3/5/2014 5:03:35 AM
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"Your comments are always thoughtful and I appreciate the dialogue about matters that I am not so well-versed in. I am always impressed by how much I learn from our readers."

Elizabeth, these discussion forums are meant for knowledge sharing and educating our fellow members. We are also leaning many things through your various blogs. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Pasting over outer walls
Elizabeth M   3/5/2014 4:57:22 AM
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Thanks, MyDesign, for explaining that. Your comments are always thoughtful and I appreciate the dialogue about matters that I am not so well-versed in. I am always impressed by how much I learn from our readers.

Mydesign
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Re: Pasting over outer walls
Mydesign   3/3/2014 6:43:59 AM
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"Thanks for the explanation, Mydesign, I understand that. I was just wondering if that electricity that is being generated would pull some of the heat out of the building. Do you know what I mean? But perhaps not."

Elizabeth, it has two advantages. First it will protects sunlight from entering to room and hence the room temperature will be reduced.

bobjengr
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Re: SOLAR RESEARCH
bobjengr   3/1/2014 11:48:37 AM
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Elizabeth--I worked on a project in the late "70s to design a water heater driven by solar energy.  We used a glazer upon which was deposited a carbon material produced from incomplete combustion of an atmospheric gas burner.  We then coated the tube sheet/carbon assembly with a clear coat to hold the carbon in place.  The atmospheric burner was very similar to the type used in the citrus industry to produce "fog" needed, insuring a warmer atmosphere during freezing temperatures.  These are called "smug pots" (for lack of a better word).   Compared to technology existing today, it was absolutely Neanderthal, but we did get heated water with a 50 to 60 degree rise. Using a Gunfros pump, the water was circulated on a continuous basis.  Makeup water was introduced using a solenoid valve actuated by a float assembly mounted in a small tank adjacent to the storage vessel.  (Can't believe I'm remembering all of this!!!!!!)   We were the first water heater manufacturer offering a solar water heater, at least in the "states".  Most of the sales were in the southern part of our country due to lesser overcast you find in more northern states.  The big problem was, at that time the cost per KW-hr was about $0.025 AND the payback was about three years.  Good project but very time-consuming for the number of unites sold.  ( I probably should enter this in the "Designed by Monkeys" category although I did get to use my heat transfer "book learning".  ) Again, great post.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Stability?!
Elizabeth M   2/27/2014 5:24:23 AM
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The idea for one mosaic window of solar energy-harvesting glass is an interesting one, NadineJ. That could not only be energy-efficient but also very creative. It would be cool if one day some clever engineers did something like this.

AnandY
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Re : Solar Research Paves Way for Energy-Harvesting Glass
AnandY   2/27/2014 2:40:17 AM
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@ Ann R. Thryft, time is always the problem, so is the cost and expected-actual results equation. Many governments across the world have benefits in keeping such technologies on the back burner because they have financial interests in fossil fuels. Besides, such technologies are mostly expensive and government subsidies are needed to facilitate the adoption. But subsidies in this regard could be viewed as investment which will pay off soon.

a.saji
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Re: Stability?!
a.saji   2/26/2014 4:37:08 AM
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@etmax: Yes solar power has given another dimension to the world of electricity. I think it's a good option to use and I feel many industries can make the full use of it. Anyway an extensive search / research has to be made before trying it out in the real world   

etmax
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Re: Stability?!
etmax   2/25/2014 11:38:42 PM
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@Nadine, I have to agree with you in that context, and yes garden lights absolutely. I refused to put any in until the solar ones became available. Now I even have a solar street No. :-)

NadineJ
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Re: Stability?!
NadineJ   2/25/2014 10:47:56 PM
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It's true that you can't create as much power in a single family home or condo as in a hi-rise but a small mosaic window could be used to power entry lights, for example. 

If the approach is the bigger the better, then hi-rises only.  I think every little bit helps.  My little solar powered garden lights don't generate much energy but they sustain themselves year round.

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