Israel’s Pythagoras Solar recently unveiled its new photovoltaic glass unit. The clear glass panes that can be used as windows, curtain walls or skylights double as solar panels and are intended to change the way commercial buildings are built.
According to the company,
“The groundbreaking new technology is the first to combine energy efficiency, solar power generation and appealing aesthetics in a single green building material — a solar window.”
The technology, which converts about 14% sunlight into energy (industry average is 10%), can benefit commercial buildings by lowering the cost of energy by generating solar power and keeping the buildings where its used better insulated.
Although sales of building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) material are predicted to exceed $8 billion by 2015, current sales in the market are far below that. Pythagoras’s new design and its new partnerships with Arkema, China Sunenergy and Flextronics, which it announced in the same press release, will help Pythagoras quickly scale its operations as it prepares for commercial production and distribution.
It will face steep competition from Dow Chemical and China’s Suntech Power and limited demand due to high costs and difficult installation. China and India are considered the two main markets where BIPV is high in demand and will continue to be. BIPV installation is aided in China by a solar PV subsidy program the government passed in March 2009.
Since its founding in 2007, Pythagoras Solar has raised $11 million in seed and venture capital funding. still far below the predicted $8 billion by 2015 is still a tiny niche, about 100-megawatts worth of product last year, according to Paret.helping to better insulate the rooms
Pythagoras Solar came out of stealth mode at the Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Conference this past February.