@Nadine, yes but in glass on a residence more savings may be gained with blinds and shade trees than can be saved with solar power. Roof installations are different in that 1. they are elevated and 2. solar panels reduce heat radiated into the roof space.I could be wrong but I don't see it being as viable as it is for high rise.
@etmax-Obstacle can be an issue. But, one should approach setting up solar and even wind power like planting a garden. If a corner of the yard doesn't get much sun, don't plant flowers that need lots of sun there.
Of course if these windows could be installed in a private residence there would have to be an evaluation to determine if it's reasonable. Like you said, too many obstacles would limit the power that could be generated.
Ah, OK, it seems I misunderstood you, Ann. And yes, as we all know, there is often a big time gap between R&D and commercialization, and sometimes even the most interesting technologies don't make it out of the lab. I hope it's not the case with some of the solar technology. It's good to see a company like this making a real effort to get this to market.
Great post Elizabeth, and for me, who cares if it's only 16% if it's say 1/10 the cost and covers all of that otherwise unused area of a building. An additional benefit I think (at least in warmer climes) is that instead of that 16% of energy heating the glass and radiating it into the office and having to remove it with airconditioning, it could effectively be moved elsewhere in the building and therefore reduce the heat load. If the IT infrastructure using the power were in the lift wells that heat could be funnelled out.
@Nadine, My concern in your application would be that single story detached housing tends to have a lot of near obstacles like trees and bushes etc. meaning that you will likely only get sufficient power for ancilliary use and a modest feed back into the grid. But then again I could be wrong.
I don't believe any of this type of tech is available to consumers yet. I was referring to what we've both written about several times that's still in the R&D stage, mostly R. I enjoy writing about, and reading, accounts of new materials or technologies in R&D, but it sure can be a long time before they become available to consumers.
It will be wonderful to have such technology in the energy sector in today's world which is becoming more and more hungry each day. Energy sources are depleting and we have already witnessed the conflict over energy. This technology in solar energy arena will be a great addition to our energy mix and will go a long way in environment friendly energy resources quest.
Thank you, bob. It's always good to hear real-world perspective on the technologies we write about. It's interesting that you were working on similar technologies quite some time ago but now it is actually coming to market. It's quite true that efficiency is really the key to the solar game, and right now there is a lot of research in this area that's quite promising. This research is bringing solar cells up to the threshhold of and even in some tests surpassing what were thought to be limits to their efficiency.
I didn't realize some of this technology was already available to residential customers but it doesn't sound like it's quite ready for prime time and, as you say, they are probably cost-prohibitive for people who are trying to build economically, like my friend. It will be really good once this technology is tried and tested and trickles down to a larger customer base, but seems like it may take awhile.
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