Every time I find more news about the solar-power generating windows made by Pythagoras Solar, I am inspired – for my own house. We are currently selling our own house – which somehow grew too big for us since our kids grew up and left – and switching from reading books to reading on an electronic device seems to make a lot of space redundant, too. Hopefully we will be designing and building again, much smaller.
So when I wrote about their latest – turning Chicago’ Sears Tower into a tower of power – I also started to dream…
…about solar powering our next house too with the see-through glass solar power that Pythagoras has created. We have solar on this house, and I love seeing my tiny electricity bill now. But Pythagoras makes solar that is the next generation- it looks like part of the architecture – glass.
Optics on the surface filter light to let daylight through, while mirrors reflect light onto solar cells laid in thin strips that generate power.
Their powerful glass can be used as windows, but also, and this is my favorite – as skylights. The skylight solar panel makes just as much power as a regular solar panel of the same size – 13 watts a sq foot. It will cost about $125 per square foot – at least in the US – about comparable with solar panels.
One big 200 square foot skylight would be a 2.6 KW solar system, which on average could produce around 400-500 kilowatt hours a month – depending on variables like the region’s insolation and shading of course – and would cost about $25,000, about what equivalent square footage of solar panels cost. (So essentially, the energy saving glass skylight itself – is free!)
Their solar glass is not yet at the commercial stage, but my dream house would be an open space glass house with a transparent Pythagoras skylight-cum-power station in the middle of the roof! As you’d drive up past it, you’d see the sky right through the center of the roof, and never suspect that the gorgeous view of the sky was also supplying all the power!
(Oh! I forgot: then shouldn’t we do the rest of the roof in this glass tile that harvests solar heating? – what do you think?)