Ubiquitous Energy, a developer of transparent solar technology for architectural glass, this week announced that it has successfully demonstrated 1.5 meter wide glass coated uniformly with the company’s UE Power transparent solar materials.
According to a company statement, "This critical milestone shows the ability to scale UE Power to large sizes uniformly, which is critical in achieving high performing solar devices while maintaining the beautiful aesthetics and function of traditional low-emissivity window glass."
Ubiquitous Energy adds that this milestone "paves the way" for the company’s upcoming high volume manufacturing line, which will produce 1.5 x 3.0 meter floor-to-ceiling, transparent solar windows.
Ubiquitous Energy said it has achieved the new milestone through years of development with a trusted provider of manufacturing equipment to the global architectural glass and photovoltaics industries.
Further, per the company, "UE Power is the only transparent solar glass coating technology that is manufactured using vacuum physical vapor deposition (PVD), the same equipment used by global manufacturers to coat nearly all architectural glass today totaling billions of square feet annually."
The company added that, to achieve the new technology advancement, UE Power organic semiconductor materials were deposited in a full-size PVD prototype coater, showing near-perfect uniformity within 1-2% tolerance over 1.5 meter wide glass for coatings that are tens of nanometers thick.
The company stated that its prototype coater will now be replicated for the deposition of transparent solar materials in the company’s first high volume U.S. manufacturing line, expected to be operational in 2024.
Large scale deployment of the company’s transparent solar technology is expected to have a positive impact in addressing climate change, by increasing the amount of renewable energy generation that is available, by integrating solar technology seamlessly into everyday surfaces, without impacting aesthetics.
Ubiquitous Energy contends that each 1.5 x 3.0 meter piece of UE Power glass could generate up to 1kWh of electricity every day.
Ubiquitous Energy co-founder and CTO Miles Barr, explained, “Achieving this milestone prepares us well as we move our transparent solar technology from the pilot phase into full-scale manufacturing. Architectural glass isn’t actually flat; it’s slightly wavy. For this reason, achieving highly uniform, defect-free thin film electronics like transparent solar over large glass sheets has historically been difficult by other methods like solution printing. Well-established PVD coating technology gives us tight control over thickness and optical appearance of our transparent solar organic semiconductor materials and allows us to piggyback on the equipment and process controls that has been enjoyed by the architectural glass industry for decades.”