US startup secures $3 million to develop organic PV-coated windows


From pv magazine USA

The CEC has awarded $3 million to NEXT Energy Technologies. The Realizing Accelerated Manufacturing Production for Clean Energy Technologies (RAMP) grant is expected to help the company to accelerate the production of its photovoltaic coating, which can be applied to commercial windows to turn them into electricity-producing surfaces.

The purpose of RAMP is to provide financial assistance to help clean energy entrepreneurs successfully advance their innovative technologies by reaching initial manufacturing readiness levels. NEXT plans to use the funds to fund the scale-up of a low-rate initial production line for the assembly of solution-processed organic photovoltaics for commercial windows.

“The funding provided is vital to startups like ours that are focusing on manufacturing at the next level. Our goal is to help commercial buildings achieve net-zero energy and reduce their carbon footprint, and we are working with innovative partners to demonstrate how this technology can grow in the future,” said Daniel Emmit, chief executive officer of NEXT Energy Technologies.

The company's photovoltaic coatings are applied during the window fabrication process, integrating with established manufacturers without disrupting workflows and supply chains. NEXT said its approach removes costs typically associated with packaging and installation of solar.

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NEXT said a typical commercial high-rise office building installed with its first-generation windows could offset as much as 10% to 20% of the building’s power needs. Over a 30-year period, the building could produce 20 million kWh of clean energy, saving an annual average of $170,000 on utility bills, said the company.

“RAMP is really a visionary program,” said David Hochschild, chair of the CEC. “It is providing value, not just for our clean energy goals, but also ultimately for ratepayers because it is helping to drive down the cost of these technologies.”

pv magazine print edition

The latest issue of pv magazine takes a look at how the long-established link between solar and cannabis cultivation can help improve margins as medicinal and recreational use of the drug comes out of the weeds. We take a trip Down Under to examine why communities are rebelling against planned renewable energy zones perceived as being railroaded through without sufficient local consultation, and we consider the “solar crime” wave sweeping the UK and Europe.

A team of National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers have discovered that highly glazed skyscrapers can reduce their energy use and associated carbon emissions by 40% with solar windows. Lance and Vincent Wheeler developed a new open-source software, available on GitHub, called PVWindow to model the potential impact of the technology.

“Picture a skyline in, like, New York City where there are these high-rise buildings that are entirely glass,” said Lance Wheeler. “They’re fully glazed. The Freedom Tower has millions of square feet of glass. It could be a power plant in itself.”

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