Pythagoras Solar – windows for power plants
Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) technology is the result of the idea that we can integrate electricity-generation capacity into our building materials to allow our buildings to meet their own electricity needs. BIPV technologies can include roofing tiles, windows, and even paint – replacing conventional materials with these dual-purpose technologies.
Pythagoras Solar – one of the companies that presented at last week’s Clean Energy Venture Summit – is entering the BIPV market with a new line of windows designed not only to let in light during the day, but also use this light to generate electricity to meet the building’s energy needs. They claim that their new design will allow for relatively high-efficiency conversion of sunlight into electricity without blocking the view. According to their pitch (and website), their technology can be used for skylights and vertical windows – allowing the building to generate a portion of its electricity needs from the very sunlight that jump starts the building’s AC.
The cost? According to last week’s pitch, the estimated payback (return on investment or ROI) for these windows is less than 5 years.
This quick payback is partially the result of the value of the electricity generated by the windows, but is also from the energy efficiency gains that buildings realize with BIPV windows achieve compared to conventional windows.