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Solar Glazing

Solar Glazing-Concept and Advantages

  Solar Glazing process entails a unique combination of solar PV and glass where the PV cells are laminated between two panes of specialized glazing. The resultant glass laminate that is formed can then be used to produce energy and provide shading at the same time.  

Concept

Solar glazing or solar glass is an excellent method to replace glazing or cladding, and can be used to generate solar electricity on site. In multi-storey buildings due to limited roof spaces it might not be viable to adopt PV based solar generation. In such cases facades and windows can be used as surfaces for glazing for the purpose of solar electricity generation. Solar glazing acts as an innovative methodology and as a means of ‘urban micro generation’ with a good eye appeal, which can improve the return on investment from the building. In solar glazing the transparency of the laminate can vary from 0% (fully opaque) to 50%, and the customer can choose from a variety of colors and designs.  

Working Principle

Most companies use thin film photovoltaic (PV) technology for manufacturing solar glass. This is known as BIPV photovoltaic solar glasses that are perfect for a range of applications, including:
  • Facades
  • Canopies
  • Skylights
  • Curtain walls
 

The Advantages

The thin film technology that is used in these panels has been specifically designed for BIPV applications. This offers advantages to the solar glass in terms of performance in the following ways:
  • They perform well even at poor angle of solar incidence
Thin film solar cells are efficient even when they are not placed at an optimal angle with direct sunlight. This increases their total available space for installation and they can therefore be placed vertically on buildings and still perform with good overall efficiency.
  • Efficiency in low lighting
Thin film solar cells are also able to operate in very less sunlight. This means they can perform well over more number of hours per day and hence over the course of the year, resulting in a great energy output.
  • Superior heat tolerance
High temperatures hardly impact these panels and they work superlatively over a greater temperature range. This gives them advantage of a good energy production.
  • Comparable costs
The initial cost of installation is similar to conventional building materials. But they have other plus points like mentioned above (performance in less lighting, superior heat tolerance etc.) that makes them a good economically viable choice.
  • Strong panels
A big plus of these panels is that they are tough and rigid, with laminated glass that works to increase the overall functionality of the glazing.  
  • Cost and Efficiency
A recent design by the company Polysolar has a layer of thin PV embedded in the solar glass.  The design costs £250 per square meter. It works at an efficiency level of 12% to 15%, which is more than a standard thin film solar panel.      
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