When standing in front of the Biomedical and Physical Sciences building at Michigan State University, you wouldn’t be able to tell what glass has Ubiquitous Energy’s technology and which does not. The virtually invisible UE Power™ technology is installed in 100 square feet of glass and was installed above the entryway of the building leaving the aesthetics uncompromised and generating enough energy to power the lighting in the building’s atrium lighting the way for students to embark on a new day of learning.
The transparent solar panels let visible light pass through while harvesting invisible wavelengths of sunlight in the ultraviolet and near-infrared spectrum to convert the solar into electricity. The technology originated in the lab at MIT over 10 years ago by Miles Barr, Ubiquitous Energy CTO, Richard Lunt, the Johansen Crosby Endowed Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science in the MSU College of Engineering, and Vladimir Bulovic, MIT Professor, Director of MIT.nano.
As Lunt is a professor at Michigan State University and the University has been looking at ways to go greener, the installing the UE Power™ Technology seemed like a perfect win-win solution. The installation is comprised of 36 transparent solar window panels at 14 inches by 20 inches in size. This was the first installation of Ubiquitous Energy transparent solar technology at a University.
“The realities of climate change mean we need to find more ways to use renewable energy,” Lunt said. “Transparent solar glass expands the options of solar power tremendously and changes the way we think about generating power. There is no longer a tradeoff between aesthetics and renewable energy. You could turn nearly every surface of a building or landscape into a solar array and generate power right where you use it without even knowing that it’s there.”
The installation at MSU is perfect demonstration on how Ubiquitous Energy’s technology keeps the integrity and aesthetics of traditional glass facades without compromising space restraints for traditional solar solutions. As the façade is already mostly window glass, our technology married to this project seamlessly.
“We are thrilled to see the results of our efforts come to life with this world’s first installation at MSU,” said Miles Barr. “We anticipate this installation will be an important landmark as we work to create wide-spread use of transparent solar technology.”
With more UE Power technology being installed around the world, we are confident that this is only the beginning when it comes to partnering with institutions to meet their renewable energy and net zero energy needs. Imagine everything this technology could do to change your life on a day-to-day basis. The possibilities are endless.
*Photo credit for all MSU images goes to MSU