When I read a headline like the above I really ask why bother. It is obviously a BS statement, all there is to do is find trick or treat. The trick is the increase in surface area that can be covered by the technology (based on you everyday 50 story building !!!!!!!!!) On a single story application I did not do the maths. but it is clear where the 50x came from.
The story as it appears in Yahoo News is as follows:
f you’re looking to install new solar panels in your home, why not consider those created by the aptly-named SolarWindow Technologies, which transform regular windows into solar panels that are up to 50 times more efficient than the regular photovoltaics you’d attach to a roof?
“Just pick up your cell phone, look at the face without any power or image, and you’ll see a pretty good example of what today’s thin film looks like,” John Conklin, CEO of SolarWindow, told Digital Trends. “It’s heavy, it’s too dark to see through, and most thin-film is not flexible. This type of technology isn’t the type to build skyscraper windows.”
He, on the other hand, had a different idea. This is where SolarWindow comes into play. As the term “regular windows” suggests, users don’t have to replace the existing windows in their home, but need only treat them with a special process developed by the company.
“We apply liquid coatings to glass and plastic surfaces at ambient pressure, and dry these coatings at low temperature to produce transparent films,” Conklin continued. “We repeat these processes, and then collectively these coatings — and thus the glass and plastic surfaces — generate electricity.”
Of these coatings, the most important is the so-called “Active Layer,” through which electricity is generated by the absorption of light, and the transparent conductors, which allow the electricity to be extracted. “[The] coatings are primarily organic, primarily from carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen,” Conklin said. “We are constantly refining each of the layers to improve on the power we’re able to extract from these coatings and enhance their manufacturability.”
In addition to buildings, Conklin notes that some of the possible applications of this tech include the automotive industry, where a sunroof, windscreen or even side view mirrors could be turned into solar panels. There are also aerospace and military use-cases, and even the possibility of a “flexible fabric” being developed.
In all, it’s an exciting area to be working in, with some impressive math on its side. What kind of math? By the company’s estimates, a 50-story building with solar windows could generate around 1.3GWh every twelve months. For those keeping track, that’s enough energy to power around 130 homes for an entire year.
According to the website
UNDER ONE YEAR, INDUSTRY’S FASTEST CALCULATED FINANCIAL RETURN.
SolarWindow™ achieves payback within one year, according to first-ever independently validated financial modeling results.
To produce the equivalent amount of energy with conventional solar systems would require at least 5-11 years for payback and at least 10-12 acres of valuable urban land.Unlike the many acres of expensive downtown real estate required for solar array fields, SolarWindow™ systems can be installed on the readily-available vast window glass surfaces on tall towers and skyscrapers.
Exponentially out-performing today’s solar photovoltaic (PV) systems is made possible when engineers apply electricity-generating SolarWindow™ coatings to glass. These see-through liquids create electricity-generating glass windows, successfully prototyped in the most aesthetically appealing colors in demand by building architects.
How is this possible? Liquid electricity.
POWERFUL PERFORMANCE: ENGINEERED TO OUTPERFORM ROOFTOP SOLAR BY 50-FOLD. WORKS IN NATURAL, SHADED, AND EVEN INDOOR LIGHT.
SolarWindow™ can be applied to all four sides of tall towers, generating electricity using natural, shaded, and even artificial light. Conventional solar simply does not work in shaded areas or perform under artificial light. The result? SolarWindow™ can outperform today’s solar by as much as 50-fold when installed on a 50 story building, according to independently validated power production calculations.