Onyx Solar begins construction on largest solar skylight installation


The installation has begun construction at the Bell Works complex, former Bell Labs research facility located in New Jersey. Incidentally, Bell Labs developed the first ever photovoltaic cell in the early 1940s. Leading thin film PV developer Onyx Solar spearheaded the development, which will cover 60,000 square feet across the atrium roof.

“People want a workplace that extends itself beyond professional needs – one that stands for something beyond the cubicle walls,” said Ralph Zucker, President of Somerset Development. “As Bell Works continues to attract some of the region’s most forward-thinking companies, it is only fitting that it incorporates the latest in sustainable technology.”

Onyx Solar has provided 24 different glazings, to cover the various skylight schemes at the building, which will house a mixture of office space, retail, dining and more.

The solar skylights use amorphous silicon photovoltaic glass laminated between two sheets of tempered safety glass. As well as producing energy, the glass also reduces solar heat gain.

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“Where traditional opaque solar panels are designed solely to generate electricity, Bell Works PV skylight will be transparent, allowing for light to pass through the PV glass without comprosing the building’s day lit atrium,” says Diego Cuevas, Buiness Development VP at Onyx Solar. “The PV galss will enhance architect Eero Saarinen’s unique aesthetic while maximizing energy efficiency in this expansive space.”

Energy from the panels will be consumed on site, including to power planned electric vehicle charging points.

This installation will break Onyx Solar’s own record for the largest solar skylight in the U.S., which it set in 2013 with an installation on Novartis Pharmaceuticals headquarters, also located in New Jersey.

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