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Solar windows see power savings

Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - 01:53

Aug. 3 - Forget solar panels, how about solar windows? An Israeli firm has created double-pane windows embedded with solar cells, which can produce electricity, reduce energy loss, transparent design. Joanna Partridge reports.

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Many firms already use solar panels to generate some of the energy they need. Now Israeli firm Pythagoras Solar has developed a solar window. It has two panes embedded with solar cells, which not only generate electricity for buildings, but also reduce energy use. CEO Gonen Fink says the concept is unique. SOUNDBITE: Gonen Fink, Co-founder and CEO of Pythagoras Solar, saying (English): "it's actually transparent and it's designed and built to be used as part of the building envelope. We generate solar power but at the same time we also shade the building and improve the energy efficiency of the building and all this in transparent window that allows people to view the outside of the building and to get a lot of light, daylight into the building, further eliminating the need for artificial lighting." The solar solution costs more than your average window - around $100 per square foot. But its creator says you can expect a return on investment in between three and five years. Solar panels can take around twice as long to pay for themselves. Chief Technology Officer, Itay Baruchi, says the solar windows produce 13 watts of power per square foot. SOUNDBITE: Itay Baruchi, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Pythagoras Solar, saying (English): "Very simple optics, very simple manufacturing technologies - not transforming the whole way that the solar industry is manufacturing but upgrading it to a new type of solution which is revolutionized." Pythagoras Solar is four years old and was recently awarded $100,000 by General Electric. Having raised $10 million in financial backing, the company is now moving into mass production. And they hope owners of commercial buildings and environmentally-minded architects will also see the light. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

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Solar windows see power savings

Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - 01:53