Photovoltaic (PV) windows, also known as:
- solar windows,
- PV windows,
- solar panel windows,
- solar screens,
- solar glass,
- photovoltaic glass windows,
- solar panels windows,
- energy producing windows,
enable see through window glass and generate clean electricity by making use of the energy of sunlight or artifical lighting typically installed in offices, schools, and commercial buildings.
These windows together with façades, skylights, curtain walls and roofs are part of the building integrated photovoltaic solutions which replace the traditional construction materials.
They can be integrated into both new and existing buildings.
A photovoltaic window usually has 2 panes of glazing with the solar modules adhered to the front of the window’s inside pane.
Lifetime and cost
To make a photovoltaic window truly useful its lifetime has to reach at least 20 years and it is not an easy task. Once this lifetime is reached, solar windows could be produced relatively cheaply. The reason is, that cost of traditional PV is mostly from the materials it is mounted on, like aluminum and glass, and not from the solar cell itself.
Production costs are therefore much lower and the cost of the materials is also falling. Once a developer has decided to have a glass facade on their building they are just a small step away from solar windows.
Current technologies are producing electricity at 6 to 10 % efficiency, but the goal is to get that up to at least 20 %.