NEXT Energy Technologies has installed windows that are generating solar power
NEXT developed a proprietary transparent photovoltaic (PV) coating that transforms commercial windows into energy-generating windows. Patagonia, the outdoor apparel company based in Ventura, worked with NEXT to install 22 of the windows on the south-facing facade of the Olive Building on Patagonia’s main campus. The building houses offices, an employee gym and climbing wall. The windows are a production demonstration of how NEXT’s transparent solar technology can be seamlessly integrated into commercial buildings to generate electricity to power the building and alleviate strain on the grid.
NEXT’s windows installed at Patagonia deliver dedicated power to the building for charging phones and other devices while employees use the community spaces. Employees also have access to proprietary metrics with real-time power output and charging information to inform users of the benefits of the windows.
Partners in creating better buildings for tomorrow
NEXT estimates that its windows are capable of producing 20-30% of the power produced by conventional solar panels alone. However, by leveraging the underutilized surface area of the building facade, as opposed to isolated rooftops, NEXT’s windows have the potential to produce significant onsite renewable power, offsetting anywhere from 10-40% of a typical commercial building’s energy load. The windows also capture and convert infrared light, which reduces the building’s heat load and further alleviates the existing strain on a building’s power infrastructure.
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“Deploying this technology with Patagonia, one of the most respected brands in sustainability, is a huge milestone for us. It demonstrates Patagonia’s commitment to leading by example on climate change and shines a light on innovations that can help commercial buildings achieve net-zero energy and sustainability goals,” said Daniel Emmett, CEO and co-founder of NEXT Energy Technologies. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Patagonia to demonstrate our technology in action and share the numerous benefits to building owners, developers and occupants, including reduced operating expenses, increased building value, improved building resilience, relieved pressure and reliance on the grid, and reduced carbon footprint.”
“Global building stock is expected to double by 2060, and if transparent PV windows can be deployed widely on buildings during this timeframe, they have the potential to reduce GHG emissions from the built environment by over 1 gigaton per year, a huge opportunity for climate impact,” Emmett continued.
“We’ve been using solar power at our headquarters in Ventura since 2005 and at our Reno Distribution Center since 1996,” said Corley Kenna, head of Communications and Public Policy at Patagonia. “We rely on 100% renewable electricity for our owned and operated facilities in the United States and 76% globally, achieved through on-site and off-site installations. We have funded more than 1,000 solar arrays on homes across the U.S. and have helped install more than 600 kilowatts of solar power globally to support agriculture. Finding better ways of doing business is something we always strive to do and we’re pleased to partner with NEXT Energy to help us be a more responsible company.”
Printing photovoltaic film
Partners on this project include Walters & Wolf, who designed, fabricated, and installed the glazing system integrating NEXT’s energy-harvesting windows. The glass fabricator of the module units was performed by SolarFab, a division of GlassFab Tempering Services. NEXT’s windows are created by printing a transparent photovoltaic coating directly onto architectural glass. The coating is then sealed behind a secondary sheet of glass and subsequently integrated into a traditional glazing system which carries cables that deliver renewable energy to be used onsite in the building.
“We spent years of R&D to design façade systems for Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV). The dream of a seamless plug and play BIPV façade is a reality, we are all very excited for the possibilities,” said Shiloh Kocelj, BIPV Director of Walters & Wolf.
This installation is the first time that NEXT has demonstrated its technology on the facade of a building. This project follows the demonstration of three other freestanding facade units containing the window technology, one each in Santa Barbara, CA, Fremont, CA, and Paris, France. For more information on the installation, please visit NEXT’s website at www.nextenergytech.com.