Invisible wires developed for transparent solar windows

A US manufacturer of transparent electricity-generating coatings for windows on skyscrapers and tall towers has developed invisible wires as thin as human hair to improve the transmission of electricity on its glass solar windows.

According to SolarWindow Technologies Inc., its first generation, invisible wire microgrid was already the thinnest system ever developed for its SolarWindow technology. But its latest technical breakthrough pushes the boundaries even further with wires as thin as a human hair. “Moving forward, our technology team has vowed to attempt even finer wiring grids in order to help them eventually disappear to the human eye,” says John A. Conklin, president and CEO of SolarWindow Technologies.

When applied in a grid pattern, the nearly invisible, ultra-thin wires increase the power and performance of the solar windows while also improving the visual aesthetics. The process developed for these nearly invisible wires can be applied using high-speed roll-to-roll (R2R) or large area sheet-so-sheet (S2S) equipment to produce SolarWindow modules.

Unlike conventional solar modules, which can only work with natural sunlight, the glass coating products from SolarWindows Technologies can be used an all four sides of tall towers and generating electricity using natural, shaded and even artificial light, according to the company’s website. As a result, these modules can generate up 50 times more energy that rooftop solar when installed on a 50-story building.

Despite the extremely fine wiring, the glass coatings are able to serve as a deterrent to bird collisions, which the company states is an on-going environmental concern for glass manufacturers and window producers. Up to a billion birds die each year in the US in collisions with glass, prompting cities to adopt building codes to address the issue.


Photo credit: SolarWindow Technologies Inc.

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