After nearly a decade of R&D, Ubiquitous Energy has developed an award-winning technology, the world’s first aesthetically acceptable, electricity-generating alternative to traditional windows. Other solar window technologies have tradeoffs in transparency, color, viewing area obstruction, haze, or energy efficiency, making them difficult to adopt as a drop in alternative to standard windows. Ubiquitous Energy’s coating harvests solar energy and serves as an invisible, onboard source of electricity for a variety of end products. The thin coating is applied to the surface of window glass to provide electricity generation, all while maintaining the aesthetic of a traditional window. It all comes down to one word-transparency. Traditional windows typically range from 40-70%. Our product formulations span this entire range and have demonstrated the highest combination of efficiency and transparency (efficiency x transparency). This combined performance comes from the nature of our technology. We have the only patent-protected solar technology that selectively captures ultraviolet and infrared light while allowing visible light through, allowing our windows to be both highly transparent and highly efficient.
Yes, our windows function as traditional Low-E windows while also producing energy like conventional solar panels. Our coating today is similar to double and triple silver coated low-E coatings that have emissivity of only a few percent and solar factor/solar heat gain coefficient as low as 0.25, while simultaneously achieving power conversion efficiencies as high as 10%. Our windows match the transparency performance of most commercial windows today.
Our coating is applied to glass as part of the standard glass and window manufacturing process using thin-film deposition known as physical vapor deposition, similar to how Low-E coatings are applied. While we hope to be able to apply it to existing windows in the future, we currently only offer it on new or replacement window products.
Similar to rooftop solar panels, our solar windows are meant to offset your home’s current energy consumption. In addition, they can power smart home functionality through features such as motorized blinds, built-in security systems, environmental monitoring, and much more.
Solar panels and solar windows serve different purposes and complement each other beautifully. The transparent solar panels will be able to produce up to about 50% of the power of rooftop solar per given surface area. We do not see our product as a replacement for rooftop solar, but rather as a complement. If you have the option to install solar panels on your roof, you should. If you can install transparent solar windows, you should. It’s a win-win.
No, our windows do not require any visible wiring or hardware to capture or transmit solar energy, resulting in a transparent glass that is visibly indistinguishable from traditional windows.
All of the necessary wiring is hidden within the frame or within the window itself. In some applications, the electricity that is generated can be used entirely within the window to power electronics features within the window such as sensors and automated mechanics, or in other applications can be fed into the building’s electricity grid. In the first case, there is no difference in the installation of a transparent solar window versus a traditional window; there is no electrical wiring required. In the second case, the wiring and electronics are very similar to that of conventional rooftop solar, where excess power can be electrically connected to an energy management system, electronic controls, and energy storage like batteries. This generated electricity can be used to directly power smart features and/or be fed back to the electrical grid via electrical wiring that is routed and hidden within the window frames.
Our solar windows are competitive with rooftop solar from an installed cost $/Wp metric, however we like to think about the cost of the windows as the more appropriate comparison. The installed cost of our transparent solar windows are expected to have a 10 to 30% premium over traditional windows.
Every house will benefit from having transparent solar windows. The energy generation varies depending on a number of environmental factors such as geographical location, elevation, and local surroundings such as trees, but no matter what, renewable energy can be generated by the windows from the captured solar energy.
Our windows have standard window warranties applied to the product, so there is very little worry on the part of the consumer as far as maintenance is concerned. Additionally, our smart windows can be checked and monitored remotely for their performance and alerted before there is a significant issue so that they can be replaced or repaired if needed.
Ubiquitous Energy windows are made with materials that are not hazardous and non-toxic. The materials used for our technology are green and clean allowing developers and property owners to feel secure and safe to install these products.