These transparent, electricity-generating coatings have the potential of turning new and existing tall buildings into “clean power generators.” When applied to a 50-story building, for example, SolarWindow could reduce electricity costs by up to 50% per year and achieve a one-year financial payback, according to independently-validated modeling.
In order to determine the ability of the electricity-generating coatings to withstand real-world environmental conditions, the company, along with scientists and engineers at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), subjected SolarWindow modules to cycles of high temperatures followed by extremely low temperatures to simulate natural environmental conditions.
During this test, SolarWindow modules were subjected to more than 200 freeze/thaw cycles, which yielded favorable performance results of the edge sealing processes and minimal impact on the device electrical performance.
“This particular test is very important to establish the thermal and mechanical stability of SolarWindow coatings. As a part of windows of the future, such coatings will naturally be exposed to temperature extremes and cycles that cause mechanical stresses, which can eventually lead to failure,” said Dr. Scott Hammond, principal scientist of SolarWindow. “By appropriately engineering our layer lamination and edge sealing processes, we can minimize such stresses and ensure long operational lifetimes, regardless of the outdoor environment the windows are exposed to.”
“Passing the freeze/thaw temperature cycle testing is another important step towards commercializing SolarWindow coatings,” said John Conklin, president and CEO of SolarWindow. “Successful completion of this test puts SolarWindow modules one step closer to meeting performance PV test standards required by IEC.”