Turning Windows Into Solar Panels

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Photo:holding solar window up
Windows that serve as solar panels could offset more than 30 percent of a building's energy usage when installed on a large glass office tower, according to Maryland-based SolarWindow Technologies. The company is developing the technology in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden.

If windows were solar panels, then giant glass office towers could soak up the sun's energy and use it to keep the lights on and the copy machines humming. That's the vision of a partnership between Maryland-based SolarWindow Technologies and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden. John Conklin, CEO of SolarWindow, says that solar windows installed on a 50-story building could offset 30 to 50 percent of its energy usage. The impact could be especially meaningful because commercial buildings account for about one-third of the nation's electricity consumption, according to the EPA. John Conklin spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.

Photo: NREL team looks at solar window
Scientists at SolarWindow Technologies and Golden's National Renewable Energy Laboratory are working to bring a solar window to market by next year.