Glass has been an important material in architecture since the first glass windows were used in Roman Egypt in 100 AD. As technology has developed, glass has now become the predominant facade material all around the world. Unfortunately, the very transparency that makes glass attractive for buildings creates undesirable effects in terms of thermal and optical insulation.
By 2020, 8.3 billion square meters of flat glass will be installed annually in new buildings worldwide, states the Freedonia Group Report. Taken this area into account, if one covered this area in standard solar panels (with ideal orientation), it could produce more than a terawatt at peak output, and over one year it could generate some 2,190 terawatt-hours of electric energy. That’s 9% of the world’s annual electricity consumption in 2016. Substituting this source of energy for coal in 2017 would have saved about 1.6% of CO2 emissions.
However solar windows will never be as efficient as conventional solar panels because windows must, of course, remain at least partially transparent. The other solution also could be to cover windows partially with less transparent solar windows that produce more energy. However, they can create an enormous network of small photovoltaic sources. When it comes to the topic of budget & investment, developers could benefit a good ROI (Return On Investment) with the amount of energy that these energy sources would produce over time. In the near future, hopefully, skyscrapers will harvest energy from the sun with solar windows covering the whole building (BIPV).
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Date: Jun 03, 2019 @ 09:20
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