Smart Glass World were joined by Veeral Hardev, Director of Business Development for Ubiquitous Energy, who explains how their transparent photovoltaic glass will bring aesthetically-pleasing, electricity-generating windows to the mainstream market.
Could you tell us how Ubiquitous Energy’s transparent photovoltaic glass differs from other BIPV products on the market?
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.
Which market segment in the global glass industry do you see as the most open to your innovation: construction, transportation or consumer devices?
Fortunately, we believe that all 3 industries are very open and interested in our technology. This is evident from the discussions we have had with the major players from these industries. That being said, we have decided to focus our immediate efforts on the construction industry for commercial and residential windows, and we look to expand our product offerings in the future to both the transportation and consumer devices industries.
I understand Ubiquitous intends to license out and also mass-manufacture glass. Which of these strategies do you see as most beneficial for your customers?
We are planning to first mass manufacture our transparent solar windows and will look to license our technology immediately following the launch of our first commercial and residential window products.
We see both of these strategies as being equally important in terms of our customers as we understand we need to prove that we can mass manufacture economical and reliable large size window products before we can license the technology.
Ideally, through licensing we believe that transparent solar window products will become more readily available globally as soon as possible.
Ubiquitous seems to be unique in being able to tune the output voltage of your PV glass to the needs of market verticals. Do you think standardising this interface will determine market adoption of your glass?
We believe that this voltage and current tunability is an advantage. We would love to standardize this as would any new technology that is being developed and commercialized would.
However, we believe we’ll be able to utilize this advantage to offer more desirable products by tuning the voltage and current combination to meet the desires of different industries – for example large size commercial windows might have a different desire and requirement than automotive glass.
Given that you laser-pattern PV cells onto float glass, will this still allow glass processors to tailor your glass for custom dimensions?
Yes definitely. Again we believe this laser patterning gives us another advantage, especially for markets such as the architectural glass market where you have designers that want custom shapes and dimensions. While this is not our first priority and focus, it is something we understand that we want to be able to deliver in the future.
Veeral Hardev is Director of Business Development at Ubiquitous Energy, where he leads the company’s transparent solar window commercialization efforts. Veeral has over a decade of experience commercializing novel nano-materials products for the electronics industry. This includes time at Nanosys, Inc. where he led materials development, product management, and business development. Veeral holds an MBA from the Berkeley Haas School of Business, and bachelor’s degrees in Materials Science and Economics from UCLA.
Interview courtesy of Smart Glass World