Tigo offers a tech and IT solution to squeeze more energy from the sun, which may be going vertical in high-rises through US partner.
Solar energy has traditionally been a land or “area-intensive” form of alternative energy. Solar energy generation required massive, land-hungry solar power farms in order to compete with conventional equivalents, or large areas of roof space to accommodate photovoltaic panels that were not known for their efficiency at converting sunlight.
This requirement for extensive areas of roof space left the inhabitants of high-rise apartment building out in the cold, so to speak.
A joint venture between Israeli start-up Tigo Energy Ltd and US-based Architectural Glass & Aluminum Company Inc. (AGA) will eventually offer apartment dwellers the opportunity to reduce their green footprint by making solar energy technology more widely available for this difficult environment.Although not spelled out in the press releases and other media coverage, it appears that the apartments’ windows and other external glass surfaces will become the buildings’ solar receptors.
As well as allowing residents to reduce their draw on the power grid, it may also give the most energy-thrifty the ability to feed their excess back into the grid.
According to Globes:
The project is important, because until now there have been no mass market solar energy solutions, but only for industrial, commercial, and public buildings, as well as for owners of large tracts of land or farming communities. People who live in apartment buildings have not been able to participate in the new energy world, which is based in large part on solar infrastructures. If the Tigo-AGA project succeeds, apartment residents will also be able to generate solar energy, with its inherent benefits (the sale of electricity to the national grid at higher than normal prices).
Like all good joint ventures, the one between Tigo and AGA allows the partners to bring their strengths to the relationship, with AGA supplying the glass and silicon coatings for the photovoltaic panels, while Tigo will supply the electronics that turn the glass into solar receptors. The possibilities of the venture have been recognised by others:
The venture obtained a grant from the US Department of Energy and Israel-United States Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD-F). Tigo’s flagship product, the Energy Maximizer System will be integrated into solar panels used by AGA, a leading US glazing contractor for glass and aluminum buildings.
In order to be the liberating technology it was intended to be, solar energy needs to be freed up from the demand for land-hungry solar power farms. Each building or structure should ideally generate sufficient power through renewable energy sources to cover all except peak needs, and feed any excess back into the grid. Joint ventures such as the one between Tigo and AGA may help to make this a real possibility.
Tigo Energy has headlined on the pages of Green Prophet several times: