New Technology Allows Windows To Tap Solar Energy

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GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– A team of Colorado researchers may have revolutionized the way buildings are constructed and harness the power of the sun.

“This was somewhat of an accidental discovery maybe about a year ago,” said Robert Tenent, the Window Technology Program Lead at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The technology is called thermochromic and can change from clear glass then when sunlight hits it, a tint appears and creates energy.

“This switching ability gives you the chance to put a high quality solar cell in a building structure or have a window when you need it,” Tenent said.

The technology is still a prototype but many manufacturers are interested in residential homes and cars. The likeliest application would be in commercial buildings.

“If you go take a look at the buildings downtown a lot of the high rise structures you’re going to see one thing glass, glass, and glass,” Tenent said. “The technology behind this is some of the highest performing solar technology that’s available today. There’s still one or two things we’re going to need to figure out with this moving forward but there’s most definitely credible paths to get the technology and mass deployed.”

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

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