Project Title: Building Windows with Transparent Photovoltaics to Lower Costs
Funding Opportunity: Technology to Market 3
Solar Subprogram: Technology to Market
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Amount Awarded: $2,500,000
Awardee Cost Share: $2,500,000
This project is researching the integration of organic photovoltaic materials with commercial windows to accelerate transition of a lab-made, commercially relevant prototype to a fully developed prototype that has passed initial reliability and certification testing and is ready to begin pilot manufacturing. The prototype will be slot-die coated, large area modules as opposed to previous spin-coated, small area modules.
The project team will work to understand and overcome critical issues inherent to the slot-die coating process, enabling the company to meet commercially relevant product specifications on larger area glass using a scalable commercial process. Because the product lies at the intersection of windows and photovoltaic modules, this project will also enable the technology to pass standardized tests and certifications for both industries required for full-scale manufacturing.
Building integrated photovoltaic windows absorb light in the infrared and UV spectrum while allowing significant visible light transmission, while also achieving high efficiency and long lifetime. The unique approach allows for much lower module and balance of system costs compared to other photovoltaic technologies by utilizing substantial costs that are already being paid for in conventional windows by building owners. This technology has the potential for exceptionally low cost relative to other solar technologies due to its inexpensive and abundant raw materials, as well as extremely low production and capital costs enabled by wet coating directly on glass.