The Future of Remodeling With New Transparent Solar Windows

Make toast with your windows? Maybe soon you can! Industry news about new technology giving homeowners more bang for their buck with innovative technology.


Published on 16 Apr 2024

Innovative technology under development—not the toaster

Transparent Solar Windows?Is that possible?

In the ever-evolving landscape of sustainable technology, a groundbreaking innovation promises to revolutionize the way we think about energy generation: transparent solar windows. 

Imagine a world where every window in your home, every glass skyscraper downtown, serves not only as a portal to the outside world but also as a silent, efficient, aesthetically pleasing, solar energy collector. This vision is not as far-fetched as it may seem, thanks to pioneering research and development by companies like Ubiquitous Energy, a California-based startup born out of MIT. 

A screen shot from the UE company video.

According to ProRemodeler, Ubiquitous Energy has patented an organic coating technology that can be applied to windows using a vacuum process, effectively transforming them into solar cells. The implications of this technology extend far beyond residential applications. Think of the vast expanses of glass in office buildings, vehicles, and electronic devices—all of which could potentially become energy-generating assets.

Andersen Windows, among other manufacturing giants, has shown keen interest in integrating this sustainable technology into their product offerings. With the ability to turn any glass surface into a solar collector, the possibilities for energy generation and conservation are virtually limitless. Imagine driving your car with a windshield that not only shields you from the elements but also powers your vehicle's electronics through solar energy.

Diagram from UE website video.

The science of solar windows

Talk About Transparency

One of the most remarkable aspects of this technology is its transparency. Unlike traditional photovoltaic cells, which are opaque and often detract from the aesthetic appeal of buildings and devices, these transparent solar windows allow visible light to pass through while capturing infrared and UV rays. This is achieved through ultra-thin carbon-based compounds at the nano-level, creating a virtually invisible solar harvesting solution.

Incorporating transparent solar windows into remodeling projects could be a game-changer for both homeowners and businesses alike. Beyond the obvious environmental benefits of reducing reliance on fossil fuels, there are practical advantages as well. Imagine the energy savings achieved by powering window shades or other smart features directly from the windows themselves.  Running your toaster might be a stretch, but you can start to see the possibilities.

The manufacturing process for these windows is poised to be seamless. Similar to the application of low-emissivity (low-E) coatings commonly used in modern windows, the transparent solar coating can be applied during the manufacturing stage, ensuring compatibility with existing production methods.

Imagine the energy from the solar windows of a single office building or subdivision.

Remodeling with solar windows coming sooner than you think

Ready in 2024?UE claims to be ready by the end of this year

Ubiquitous Energy has ambitious plans to bring this technology to market, with manufacturing slated to begin by the end of 2024. As we look towards a future increasingly defined by sustainability and renewable energy, transparent solar windows offer a glimpse into what's possible when innovation intersects with environmental stewardship.

With the potential to transform everyday surfaces into energy-generating assets, this technology holds immense promise for the future of looking at energy creation and lighting sources in remodeling as synergistic (more than the sum of its parts).  

This latest technology could help bring even more light to homes and plenty of energy with it.  Who knows, maybe it could be extended to power radiant heat panels in your home, further reducing your energy footprint.