Innovative! Photovoltaic glass that generates energy and air-conditions buildings

Inspenet, April 21, 2023

The Spanish company Onyx Solar is a leader in the development of photovoltaic glass technology, a system that makes it possible to take advantage of the structure of buildings to capture sunlight, saving energy costs and contributing to environmental sustainability.

They heat, generate energy and shape

The integration of solar energy into the structure of buildings is somewhat similar to what we have seen with solar roof tiles. An idea that arises at the end of the 20th century. Known as BIPV, an acronym for Building Integrated Photovoltaics, it seeks to take advantage of the building’s façade, minimizing costs in construction materials and avoiding having to place structures to install solar panels.

This system tries to make it possible for the same structure of the building to be used to capture sunlight through the windows themselves. It is about creating a kind of windows with which to capture the energy coming from sunlight.

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Onyx Solar has provided Photovoltaic Glass to create a Photovoltaic Ventilated Facade for the headquarters of Banco Cajasiete, located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

The photovoltaic glass developed by the company Onyx Solar, is a system that collects solar energy, allowing the passage of natural light and at the same time, it air-conditions the interior of the building by filtering the heat. In addition, given its ability to be molded, it can be adapted to almost all types of shapes and thus can be installed on facades, floors, roofs, pergolas, among others.

According to a publication in El Español, Onyx Solar already has photovoltaic glass expanded by constructions all over the planet. This material is already used in a building such as the Beit Havered, located in Givatayim (Israel), in the skylight of the National Petroleum Technology Center in Dammam, in Saudi Arabia or in New Jersey in the photovoltaic canopies of the new International Airport terminal. Newark Liberty.

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Onyx Solar has embedded hexagonal photovoltaic glass in crystalline silicon into the Pyramid of Science, a pyramid-shaped building located in the Denver Botanic Gardens

Hidden Photovoltaic

In the case of Beit Havered, Onyx Solar successfully installed its new product range, known as ‘Hidden Photovoltaics’. This glass includes hidden cells inside that are not visible at all, while maintaining electricity generation.

It is a construction that has 242 crystalline silicon photovoltaic glass plates, which has a white digital print, covering an area of 600 square meters, enough to generate 3,809 light points working 4 hours a day for 35 years.

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Onyx Solar installed crystalline silicon photovoltaic glass in the Beit Havered building, located in Givatayim (Israel)

Photovoltaic glass can be used on the roof that surrounds buildings, on its entire surface. A system that, while serving as another structural element, can decorate and serve as an insulator and energy collector.

To achieve photovoltaic glass, crystalline silicon technology and amorphous silicon technology have been used. In the words of Álvaro Beltrán, founder and president of Onyx Solar, “in crystalline technology we managed, thanks to our manufacturing process, to integrate the same photovoltaic cells used in conventional photovoltaic panels in laminated safety glass, also allowing great customization in colours, shapes, sizes, arrangement of the cells in the glass…”. Along with this, amorphous silicon technology allows the creation of “a totally opaque glass, to which we managed to give different levels of transparency by removing layers of silicon through a laser erasure process.”

In addition, the elimination of both technologies allows that, together with the use of sunlight to generate energy, the thickness of the photovoltaic glass can be customized. Intermediate air or argon chambers can be added to improve insulation and therefore save on energy bills by not depending so much on air conditioning systems.

Source :

Photos : Solar Onyx

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