Windows that not only block solar heat but convert light into power! Watch for this solar glass to come to market

by Brianna Crandall — July 4, 2018 — AGC (AGC Asahi Glass), a worldwide producer of flat glass, has entered into a strategic development agreement with Ubiquitous Energy, a provider of transparent solar technology. The collaboration will focus on the development of Ubiquitous Energy’s transparent and color-neutral solar coating to create windows that produce electricity.

Ubiquitous Energy’s transparent solar coating, ClearView Power, selectively absorbs and converts non-visible light (ultraviolet and infrared) to electricity while transmitting visible light. ClearView Power doubles as a solar-control coating in addition to its electricity generation by blocking infrared light that is commonly known as solar heat. The transparent solar coating can be applied to vertical surfaces of buildings, turning traditional windows into highly energy-efficient and electricity-generating windows that are aesthetically pleasing and acceptable to architects, designers, and occupants.

A square foot piece of clear solar glass on a stand

Shown: One square foot ClearView Power prototype window with a solar coating to produce electricity. Image courtesy AGC

Applied directly to glass using standard glass coating equipment, ClearView Power is a highly transparent, color neutral coating. Using standard thin-film coating equipment will enable leveraging of the more than 8-billion-square-meter-per-year annual global glass production capacity. This novel and patent-protected technology will provide a truly transparent energy harvesting solution to the building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) market enabling zero net energy buildings and beyond.

Ubiquitous Energy’s award-winning, transparent ClearView Power photovoltaics (PV) technology harvests solar energy and serves as an invisible, onboard source of electricity for a variety of end products. The thin coating can be applied to the surface of building or automotive windows to provide electricity generation and energy efficiency or to the displays of mobile electronic devices to provide infinite battery life. Spun out of MIT in 2012, Ubiquitous Energy is now producing its highly transparent, efficient solar cells in its pilot production facility in Silicon Valley.

Ubiquitous Energy founder and CEO Miles Barr remarked:

As world leader in glass and glass coatings, AGC is an ideal partner for us. Their experience in bringing advanced glass and BIPV technologies to the market will help us accelerate the development and commercialization of our transparent solar technology. The architectural glass market has shown great interest in adopting our technology to enable next-generation transparent, power-producing windows.

Marc Van Den Neste, CTO, Building and Industrial Company of AGC, commented:

We have been watching Ubiquitous Energy since its beginning and believe that this collaboration will fit in perfectly with our strategy of providing the best environmentally friendly glass solutions. By creating aesthetically pleasing, transparent, power-producing glass, we will equip designers and architects with a BIPV solution that is beautiful and seamlessly integrated.

Masatoshi Ueno, AGC Ventures, a corporate venturing arm of Asahi Glass, added:

We are thrilled by supporting Ubiquitous Energy as a partner as it opens up new horizons for making the best environmental use of façades.

AGC Group provides flat, automotive and display glass, chemicals, ceramics and other high-tech materials and components. After more than a century of technical innovation, the AGC Group employs some 50,000 people worldwide through business in about 30 countries.