New Energy Technologies announced last week that it has successfully scaled up its spray-on, see-through solar photovoltaic technology designed for after-market application on windows.
The futuristic idea behind the technology is that it could be used to solarize windows in the 85 million commercial buildings and residential homes throughout the country.
The Maryland-based company first announced its product in 2011 and signed an agreement to work with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to scale it up.
“You would think that going from the prototype to a 12 by 12 version would be a simple scaling up,” New Energy Technologies CEO John Conklin told CleanEnergyAuthority.com in 2011. “But it’s orders of magnitude more complicated.”
In addition to scaling the technology up so it covers a larger surface, the company announced last week that it slashed its fabrication time and increased the energy conversion efficiency.
“The Company’s SolarWindow technology has progressed significantly beyond early research,” according to a release, “and is now in advanced product development.”
Spray advances, which were headed by Dr. Xiaomei Jiang, have doubled cell efficiency, reduced fabrication time from more than a day to a few hours and developed a more aesthetically-pleasing uniform coat that acts as a window tint.
That particular advancement will be important to commercialization as it will make the technology more applicable in a practical market. Consumers will want the technology to look uniform and to function without changing the way we see windows.
Researchers are hopeful that this latest announcement puts the company in position to begin mini-module spray-on device fabrication that could lead into larger-scale production and New Energy Technologies’ commercial launch, according to the release.
The company has been slowly and steadily marching toward commercialization with each new advance. It currently has 14 patents pending approval.
“This latest breakthrough is an exciting testament to our ongoing efforts as we continuously work to improve the quality and performance of our SolarWindow mini-modules,” Conklin said. “Moving forward, we remain devoutly focused on producing large surface area prototypes compatible with high-speed production methods, important to commercialization of SolarWindow.”