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86 comments

Office buildings? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36582958)

Why restrict this to office buildings? I wanna live in a solar panel too!

Re:Office buildings? (2)

theIsovist (1348209) | about 3 years ago | (#36583030)

Why restrict this to office buildings?

Surface area. Most (if not all) homes lack the sq.ft. of glazing required to make a transparent PV array viable.

Re:Office buildings? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36583226)

Of course. For larger buildings, the surface area increases much more quickly than the volume. It's simple math.

Re:Office buildings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36583644)

(a different AC)
I assume you're missing a /sarc

Re:Office buildings? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36584826)

Hey, Mr. Snark. The post you are replying to talked about the area "of glazing", not the total surface area. Outside of some expensive, modern architectural homes, most are not covered in window glass. They are covered in opaque walls with a smattering of small windows. However, many more office buildings are covered in glass.

Re:Office buildings? (1)

Geotopia (692701) | about 3 years ago | (#36620044)

"New Technology Turns Windows Into Solar Panels"

I knew someone would figure a good use for Windows. Hopefully there won't be driver and registry problems with the Solar Panels.

Re:Office buildings? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36583780)

It will eventually be a common technique when building homes. At some point in the future you will have solar shingles, solar windows, in wall solar panels with light redirected from above to make use of the dead space and possibly even solar paint (depending on house style) that all feed into the same generation system. Unfortunately it isn't viable today and all of those technologies have to be developed to be separately viable before they can be combined into some sort of piecemeal home unit that generated/collected enough energy to make a difference. The place you start with the glass materias would obviously be the giant glass buildings all around us, AKA office buildings.

Light in on the subject (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36582972)

Isn't the purpose of a window to let light in, not absorb it?

Re:Light in on the subject (3, Insightful)

royallthefourth (1564389) | about 3 years ago | (#36583018)

This would be useful for a window that has the sun shining directly into it during the morning or afternoon; you only need so much light coming in!

Re:Light in on the subject (2)

ledow (319597) | about 3 years ago | (#36583128)

Yes, and solar is already incredibly worthless without having to steal only "some" of the light, while letting the rest through, and being transparent (or at least semi-transparent), and not being 4-inch-thick, and providing access to the conductor to carry the electricity away, in a glass panel tested to all the relevant standards, on a couple of hundred square meters on the side of a building in a city (which won't be in direct sunlight for quite a lot of the time, unless it's the tallest building around for quite a long distance because of shadows!), with technology that's been suggested and abandoned a dozen times before but never successfully implemented, not to mention the COST of installing all that solar (presumably at design, because retro-fitting will be a bit of a nightmare) for exactly how much gain? A handful of kilowatt-hours every day (which you could save just by cutting out a couple of windows and replacing with a better insulator) assuming even the most efficient panels in use today. It will cost more to run the lifts to move that glass into place and in copper to wire them up than it will ever generate in its usable lifetime... same old solar story as always.

Re:Light in on the subject (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#36584742)

Yep imagine that your house's roof let some light in, just enough that you'd never have to turn lights on until sunset, even in the innermost rooms. You could have 90% of the light turned into electricity and the rest used to light your home during the day.

And no you wouldn't need to worry about aerial spying, your roof would look like what car guys call "slut-black tint."

Re:Light in on the subject (2)

TWX (665546) | about 3 years ago | (#36583054)

We like having nice views here in Arizona, but large windows are very bad for the temperature of the structure. If one could reclaim some of the cost of the air conditioning with solar power then it's more practical to have large picture windows.

I for one would like to see this integrated into automobile glass, with it powering a combination battery-monitoring and air circulation system. It could be used to reduce the interior temperature of a car by cycling out the hot air with less-hot air from outside while the car sits out in the sun all day. It would make it less bad when getting in and would possibly prolong the life of the interior components. One could even make a combination solar panel and LCD crystal windows, such that the operator can park, turn on the fan, and then whiteout the windows so that even less light makes it inside.

Re:Light in on the subject (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 years ago | (#36583762)

One could even make a combination solar panel and LCD crystal windows, such that the operator can park, turn on the fan, and then whiteout the windows so that even less light makes it inside.

And, just think of the benefit to teenagers and other people who want to go 'parking' ... no more finding a dark secluded place. Just pull over somewhere, and blank out the windows for a bit and have a quickie.

Of course, the vigorous rocking of the car might be a give-away, but, it's a small price to pay. :-P

Re:Light in on the subject (1)

Dayze!Confused (717774) | about 3 years ago | (#36585852)

It might be interesting if a cloud floats over the car :-D

Re:Light in on the subject (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#36587570)

Of course, the vigorous rocking of the car might be a give-away, but, it's a small price to pay. :-P

Nothing active suspension can't take care of. Crank up the shocks to maximum stiffness (using a servo-controlled valving knob or magnetic fluid suspension) and you'll hardly be able to rock it.

Re:Light in on the subject (1)

makapuf (412290) | about 3 years ago | (#36589892)

You're not doing it right.

Re:Light in on the subject (3, Insightful)

EvilStein (414640) | about 3 years ago | (#36583924)

I'd be happy if we had a solar charger that worked well enough to charge my iPhone. :/ Tried a couple different brands and they were all awful.

One day...

and it's my opinion that the biggest barrier to solar panel adoption in the United States right now are homeowner associations. My worthless HOA forbids solar panels. (Sadly, it is legal for them to do so under state law.. for now, Texas is trying to strip HOAs of that power)

Re:Light in on the subject (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 3 years ago | (#36589056)

OK... your HOA forbids solar panels. Do they specify panels? Because solar arrays come in many forms, panels only being one of them. It's possible that solar window arrays or solar roofing arrays or solar sheets would not run afoul of your HOA, even though people might grouse about some of the options enough to re-word the bylaws.

Re:Light in on the subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36587062)

...reclaim some of the cost of the air conditioning with solar power then it's more practical...

If the glass in your house is absorbing light to generate electricity, it's also going to be heating up the air touching the glass inside your home, just as if the light passed entirely through the window and heated the furniture/carpeting instead. It wouldn't reduce the cost more than having tinted windows, but it'd be a lot more expensive.

I for one would like to see this integrated into automobile glass

Or, you could see the road instead.

1) Put regular and inexpensive solar panels on the roof. As a plus, they'll protect against hail damage a... Oh wait, you live in a place where nature means sand, wind and/or venomous bites.

2) Siphon normally wasted electricity generated by the alternator. When the car's main battery is fully charged store the extra power in a reserve battery, which then powers the gadgets when the car is off.

We like having nice views here in Arizona

Aha. By "we" I assume you mean yourself and some other people. Because there wouldn't be much else alive there. To have living native things, you need shade and something besides sun scorched earth. No, a cactus doesn't count. That's what you've been doing wrong. Please tell the others, and my relatives if you see them (or simply carve the message onto their bleached skeletons, as per tradition).

Re:Light in on the subject (4, Insightful)

theIsovist (1348209) | about 3 years ago | (#36583152)

That's one purpose of a window. Thanks to modern building techniques, we have the option to create much larger openings in the facade, and thus you get your typical glass and steel skyscraper. Ever notice that they all have a reflective, metallic tint to them? This is to keep much of the light out, because in a large office building, your interior temperature suffers heavily from the amount of light let in. You also have an issue with glare, which tinting can help with as well. If your solar system reduces the amount of solar gain and the amount of light into the building while still allowing some light/vision/heat in, you can forgo the window tinting, and make the windows even more useful.

Re:Light in on the subject (1)

NervousWreck (1399445) | about 3 years ago | (#36583162)

Windows with southern exposure get light all day. Sometimes it gets a bit much, especially in hot areas in the summer. The windows are tinted anyway, why not get some use out of them?

Re:Light in on the subject (1)

uncanny (954868) | about 3 years ago | (#36585166)

Isn't the purpose of a window to let light in, not absorb it?

Then what are blinds/curtains for?

Re:Light in on the subject (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | about 3 years ago | (#36586018)

Just a guess here, but to possibly block the sunlight/heat from entering? Or even to block someone outside from seeing inside?

Did you really just actually ask what curtains are used for???

Re:Light in on the subject (1)

uncanny (954868) | about 3 years ago | (#36595448)

That was in response to the person thinking that blocking light coming in through windows was a new or otherwise weird idea. Try reading the whole thing for once.

Re:Light in on the subject (1)

jbengt (874751) | about 3 years ago | (#36585996)

Glass windows have at least three purposes:
Keep out the heat, cold, wind, rain, and snow.
Let in light.
Allow a view of the outside
Most windows are designed specifically to keep the heat of the sun out and reduce ultraviolet light transmission, which also happens to cut down on the amount of light let in. The typical design attempts reduce heat gain and fading as much as possible while letting in as much visible light as desired, but it usually comes down to a trade off that easily computes in favor of reducing both visible light and heat. (In most climates. In the colder, less sunny climates, it can pay to let in the heat and light.)

Re:Light in on the subject (1)

skids (119237) | about 3 years ago | (#36586344)

Some light. Not all wavelengths and not all light, though. The rest is intentionally absorbed or reflected.

'New Technology Turns Windows Into Solar Panels' (4, Funny)

jabberwock (10206) | about 3 years ago | (#36582976)

Linux has been doing that for years. Microsoft rips off open source, yet again ...

Re:'New Technology Turns Windows Into Solar Panels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36583212)

Not funny; didn't make sense.

Watch out (0)

Chrisq (894406) | about 3 years ago | (#36583016)

Windows is a trademark of the Microsoft corporation.

Aw damn... (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#36583036)

For a minute there I thought somebody found a use for the Windows OS, besides gaming :-P

Re:Aw damn... (1)

webgovernor (1852402) | about 3 years ago | (#36583124)

For a minute there I thought somebody found a use for the Windows OS, besides gaming :-P

I find Windows is also useful for Netflix. But, yeah, gaming and Netflix sum up the usefulness of the Windows experience.

Re:Aw damn... (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 3 years ago | (#36583360)

Meh, I prefer set-top boxes that let me watch my Netflix via my TV and surround-sound system without paying the PC premium. YMMV.

"new" as in "sold since several years"? (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | about 3 years ago | (#36583068)

A company called Konarka developed fully transparent cells in 2009 [cnet.com] , brownish and blueish cells from Sunways are already used in existing buildings [solarserver.com] .

Re:"new" as in "sold since several years"? (1)

krotkruton (967718) | about 3 years ago | (#36583316)

And the Sears / Willis Tower in Chicago is slated to have such windows installed: Chicago Tower Solar Farm [slashdot.org]

Re:"new" as in "sold since several years"? (1)

Stellian (673475) | about 3 years ago | (#36583574)

Another green fad. PV are only marginally cost effective when they tracking the sun. A PV cell that is engineered to look nice and has 3 hours/day angled sunlight will probably break even when hell freezes over.

Depends on cost. . . (1)

JSBiff (87824) | about 3 years ago | (#36583912)

If the solar windows cost a buck more than regular windows (not saying they do have that little cost difference, just rhetorically speaking), then even if they didn't provide much power, it might make sense to buy them instead of 'regular' glass, no?

It all comes down to costs, not efficiency. Better efficiency would be great, but even marginally efficient PVs could be useful so long as they are cheap enough.

Re:Depends on cost. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36584534)

No, it all comes down to the fact green is for pansies. But invent a manly window coating based on dead dinosaurs and we'll talk.

Re:"new" as in "sold since several years"? (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | about 3 years ago | (#36584368)

I couldn't believe your claim but it seems you're right...

I found informations about the PV installation at the main train station in Freiburg - it was build (mostly for political/design reasons) with vertical solar cells (see page 38 [baden-wuerttemberg.de] for a picture).

according to the details on page 41 (upper table in the right column, German only...) the annual output is 59 kWh/m2, this paper [energybulletin.net] estimates the energy requirement for monocrystalline cell modules (including frame, supports, inverter and human labour) to 7900 MJ/m2.

Amortization time 37 years, or 120-150% of the expected lifetime.

Re:"new" as in "sold since several years"? (1)

kyle5t (1479639) | about 3 years ago | (#36586536)

Since I install solar for a living I was curious, and I looked into this system a little bit. There are a number of problems here:

* multicrystalline silicon requires more energy to manufacture, out of proportion to the increase in production efficiency
* Germany, despite having very generous incentives, is actually about as bad in terms of solar resource potential as Alaska
* the modules used should be more efficient than 10%, even considering the semi-translucent design
* the balance of system components could be a lot more efficient than 86%: this is an area that has improved considerably in recent years
* the expected losses due to shading (15%) seem a little high considering the height of the building
* yes, you do take a significant hit installing in a vertical orientation

Add it all up and it makes for a system that should never have gone in. But these types of building integrated designs are worthwhile when done properly.

Typically, the Energy Return on Investment is around 3 or 4 years and it should be no more than about 10 years for an installation like this one.

Re:"new" as in "sold since several years"? (1)

kyle5t (1479639) | about 3 years ago | (#36586670)

meant to say monocrystalline silicon, actually

Learn something everyday (2)

vawwyakr (1992390) | about 3 years ago | (#36583110)

Here I thought windows that "block sunlight" were called walls.

Re:Learn something everyday (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 3 years ago | (#36583378)

And you've never heard of sunglasses either?

Re:Learn something everyday (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36583482)

"blocking sunlight from entering office buildings to reduce their energy needs." - The "part" of the sunlight that increases energy needs is infrared radiation. Normal glass already blocks most of it but if you put thin film photovoltaics (don't know if this is the case) in front of it, you won't need shades anymore.

I wonder what's the transmittance of these babies... Don't know if they developed any new transparent p-type semiconductors that they can use..

Re:Learn something everyday (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 3 years ago | (#36584860)

Any company would rather make their offices floor to ceiling in glass, but then they get too much light in (the office being too bright is not the problem, just overheating), and thus have to install blinds. This ability to siphon off some of the heat will work in their favour.

About time (3, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | about 3 years ago | (#36583120)

I've only been hearing about this for, what, about 30 years. I imagine cost is the crucial factor, as otherwise some of those other startups would be ubiquitous now.

Even in this case, the article says "CEO Fink wouldn't reveal his system's cost per watt ," so I bet cost is still a factor.

Re:About time (1)

DaveGod (703167) | about 3 years ago | (#36586504)

The system's cost per watt straight-up isn't necessarily useful. What's interesting is the relevant cost per watt of this system, that is the cost over and above that of the regular tinted windows you would otherwise be buying.

Furthermore with "cost per watt" I'm never really clear whether or how much they are counting for the land required. Again there is nil relevant cost with these windows.

Re:About time (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 3 years ago | (#36588094)

Cost per watt is an easily manipulated number. I most cases I bet it is based on optimal production and measured at the panel. I doubt very much it takes into account any of the following;
Cost and power loss of equipment to convert from DC to AC
Maintenance cost of panels and conversion equipment.
Decreased output due to window facing, time of day, time of year and atmospheric conditions.

This has been done years ago (2)

Graywolf (61854) | about 3 years ago | (#36583132)

A quick Google search turns up results from at least as far back as 2007 [pvresources.com] and one article (apparently offline) from 2004 [googleusercontent.com] .

I guess the new product will be more efficient, but this is definitely nothing new.

sounds good to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36583320)

I suppose you could use the windows to block out the light, and then use the solar energy to power the lights inside of the room. Win-win!

Re:sounds good to me (2)

jbengt (874751) | about 3 years ago | (#36586404)

I suppose you could use the windows to block out the light, and then use the solar energy to power the lights inside of the room. Win-win!

You've obviously never designed air conditioning or lighting for a commercial office building with a lot of glass:
Windows are often designed with overhangs above to block direct sunlight, adjustable blonds to allow occupants to reduce bright light and glare, and reflective and absorbent coatings to reduce the light and heat transmission.
You can block most of the sunlight and still get more light from the window than from the electrical lighting (within 15 to 30 ft of the window).
In most climates, the cost of air conditioning due to the sun shining on windows is greater than the cost of lighting and heating those spaces.

Re:sounds good to me (2)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 3 years ago | (#36588120)

adjustable blonds

Go on..tell us more...

Windows 7 (1)

CPTreese (2114124) | about 3 years ago | (#36583330)

It really can do anything!!!!!!

Like Most Multi-function machines... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36583334)

You get the worst of both worlds and the good of neither. Increased installation costs, poorer performance, probably uglier. They don't want to quote costs because then it will be obvious that the only way it can be cost effective is for the taxpayer to fund it through tax credits. Can you imagine the wiring issues compared to wiring on the roof?

Re:Like Most Multi-function machines... (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 years ago | (#36583804)

At first I was thinking "oh! I want one!!" Now I am thinking "damn, this thing will end up converting all the light into heat losing any benefit I might have gotten."

Taxes can't make something "cost effective" (1)

JSBiff (87824) | about 3 years ago | (#36584086)

A technology either is, or isn't, cost effective. Using government subsidies might lower the cost to the end-user, but doesn't actually reduce the cost per kWh. It just makes the rest of us pay for someone else's over-priced power.

The only argument I can see possibly being in favor of energy subsidies for solar or wind is the argument that it's essentially government spending on R&D to help get the technology and economies of scale advanced to the point where it can pay for itself.

Unfortunately, people just see a lower price tag and dumbly say, "See! Solar power is cheaper than other sources!" [atomicinsights.com]

Re:Taxes can't make something "cost effective" (2)

Arlet (29997) | about 3 years ago | (#36586350)

You can use taxes and subsidies as a way to incorporate hidden costs into a product. For instance, using a coal power plant to generate electricity may be cheap, but only by using current coal price, and ignoring some of the environmental/health damage it does. If you know prices are going to rise in the next 25 years, and you know that the solar panels have a similar lifespan, it's only fair to make some adjustments.

Of course, hidden costs must also be incorporated for solar technology whenever they apply.

Re:Taxes can't make something "cost effective" (1)

JSBiff (87824) | about 3 years ago | (#36586888)

Yes, that's true. I don't think I would personally have a problem with a tax on coal which was only used to pay for the hidden costs of burning coal - helping to offset health care costs (e.g. help pay part of the costs for people with Asthma, etc), property damage due to things like acid rain from coal emissions, etc.

That seems only fair, really. It would also make other power sources more cost competitive, but I bet the republicans wouldn't allow it. If it did get through, the money would probably be spent on other things, anyhow.

Re:Like Most Multi-function machines... (1)

jbengt (874751) | about 3 years ago | (#36586494)

Can you imagine the wiring issues compared to wiring on the roof?

Yes, I imagine it would be slightly cheaper to install indoors. On the roof doesn't require ladders or scaffolding, but does require weather-proof conduit, boxes, and devices and supports that protect the integrity of the roofing.

Founded in 2007 (0)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#36583370)

And hasn't done a damned thing. Insert funding here. Yep. Revolutionary technology. Listed on the Tel Aviv stock exchange though.

This already exists (0)

reifba (2004894) | about 3 years ago | (#36583520)

check it out from a company in Israel: http://www.pythagoras-solar.com/ [pythagoras-solar.com]

RTFA for fuck's sake (3, Informative)

EvilStein (414640) | about 3 years ago | (#36583956)

From the article:

"The company Pythagoras Solar is based in San Mateo, California, "

It's the same company.

Well.. (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 3 years ago | (#36583532)

I guess we'll have to wait and see if this tech is viable. Every year it seems some new solar tech comes out with big promises, and quietly dies in whispers.
I haven't given up hope though; long ago I had given up on LED tech as any sort of serious display tech or light source, and suddenly(?), there were: LEDs that make gorgeous displays of all sizes, LEDs that for all colors of the visible spectrum and then some, and LEDs that put out 110 lumens (who'd a thunk?). I just hope there's a similar breakthrough sometime soon in solar cell development, but this probably ain't it.

Re:Well.. (2)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 3 years ago | (#36584588)

They aren't dieing. See that's the problem when you have a 2 second attention span. Most of these inventions are being incorporated into viable production lines. From discovery to production is at least 5 years and that's if they already have a factory in place that can utilize the new technology. If they have to build the factory as well it's another 2-3 years. So when you hear about one of these great new ideas do you check back on it in 8 years? Didn't think so.

Bulk solar power is on our door step, otherwise GE wouldn't have just bought one of the most important thin-film solar producers, coincidentally the company in question was already building the largest solar cell production plant in the world. The CdTe panels that this company produces use little of the very expensive rare earths that the other panels do, they can be produced on roll-roll processes (flexible panels as well) and it's expected that they can be produced for significantly less than a $1 a watt (considered the break point for mass acceptance).

Re:Well.. (0)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 3 years ago | (#36597430)

They aren't dieing. See that's the problem when you have a 2 second attention span. Most of these inventions are being incorporated into viable production lines. From discovery to production is at least 5 years and that's if they already have a factory in place that can utilize the new technology. If they have to build the factory as well it's another 2-3 years. So when you hear about one of these great new ideas do you check back on it in 8 years? Didn't think so.

Bulk solar power is on our door step, otherwise GE wouldn't have just bought one of the most important thin-film solar producers, coincidentally the company in question was already building the largest solar cell production plant in the world. The CdTe panels that this company produces use little of the very expensive rare earths that the other panels do, they can be produced on roll-roll processes (flexible panels as well) and it's expected that they can be produced for significantly less than a $1 a watt (considered the break point for mass acceptance).

Riiight, just because GE -in whom it sounds like you own stock or something, and the same idiots who tried to foist mercury laden CFLs on everyone- bought into some solar tech, the solar future is right around the corner. We've been hearing these promises for far longer than 8 years, it's been more like decades; maybe the 2 second attention span is yours, not mine.

Re:Well.. (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 3 years ago | (#36605768)

I use GE in the analogy because GE requires that every division they own produce 20% returns or the company is sold. They have a corporate policy to avoid risky ventures and their movement into any new industry is a signal that industry has achieved a certain level of acceptance and growth that fits the GE prospects. As the single largest industrial conglomerate in the US they are a sign of a real market being developed. Up until the First solar acquisition GE only lended their name to solar panels (buying from current producers and branding as a sell in product on other industrial lines). With the purchase they are probably going to be the largest thin film producer in the world with more capacity in the single factory under construction than nearly every other factory in the world combined.

But if you don't buy the GE angle, here is the other one. Solar panels are considered cost competitive against other power sources (nuke/coal/wind/gas/etc) when prices hit $1/Watt. At that price you can achieve $2/Watt installed and with a 25 year guaranteed life your amortized costs per watt bring a commercially viable power rate against traditional base load generation. The beauty of solar is that it also tends to peak output on a very similar curve to the usage peaking curve. Anyway, if you bother to read this the following is informative: (http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Historic_One_Dollar_Per_Watt_Solar_Modules_Just_Months_Away_999.html) as according to the article the per/watt prices of panels at the 2011 solar expo in Munich hit $1.35 a watt by the end of the fair and are predicted to hit $1 by the first quarter of 2012.

Please understand that if Solar becomes cost competitive against coal generation we'll hit a major inflection point where solar power could become a significant portion of power generation.

Re:Well.. (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 3 years ago | (#36624310)

Well, if things pan out for them, that would be awesome- I wish solar tech would take off, I really do; I still have some reservations about any cutting edge tech and the promises and claims that developers or mfgs make regarding it, but obviously from time to time the claims pan out. Please understand that I've been reading about solar in Popular Mechanics since the 70s', they usually made it sound like a revolution was right around the corner, and to date, it's not quite where they suggested it'd be. Solar is due. But why couldn't you have just originally made your point without resorting to the insults and ad-hominem attacks as you did in your first reply? I wasn't trashing solar tech nor claiming to be an expert. Our last two exchanges were so much more productive.

Windows only? (0)

grodzix (1235802) | about 3 years ago | (#36583584)

Is it Windows only or is there a version for Linux too?

In most of the world... (2)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | about 3 years ago | (#36584106)

You can use passive heating and cooling in the design of a structure and do without HVAC for most of the year. Bottom line is architecture and society's whim is responsible for selling inefficient systems to the public, the public is guilty of being dumb/ignorant, and the oil industry sells the stupid people what they want for 2000% over their cost and get stinking filthy rich and powerful. Who's to blame? Nearly everyone!

Into what? (1)

Opyros (1153335) | about 3 years ago | (#36585088)

"New Technology Turns Windows Into Solaris"? <blinks> I'm overdue for a new eyeglass prescription, it would seem.

Re:Into what? (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 3 years ago | (#36587938)

"New Technology Turns Windows Into Solaris"

I don't know whether to be happy, shocked, frightened or appalled.

Been around for ages (1)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | about 3 years ago | (#36585508)

You can buy off-the-shelf solar windows from several companies. We normally deal with Scheuten or Schott.

Re:Been around for ages (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36585616)

The question is, what do they cost?

That is,

  X = normal window with coatings to limit solar illumination
  Y = windows with added PV

cost = Y - X

then how much that cost is per watt? If it is more than about $1-$2/watt, it obviously doesn't make sense.

Old news. (0)

Annirak (181684) | about 3 years ago | (#36585588)

Earlier this year, another company came out with an, arguably, better solution.
http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/03/21/2125210/Chicagos-Willis-Tower-To-Become-Vertical-Solar-Farm

This Just In... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36585674)

Yet another California start-up claims to be developing pies, in the sky. They are currently seeking investors and buyers for their pie in the sky. While they claim that their pie is both delicious and nutritious the fact that it is made in the sky means that it is also very light and non-fattening.

Countless hopeful lovers of pie see the development of pie in the sky as a huge advancement in pie making. Stating that a light non-fattening pie could change the world as we know it today. They eagerly anticipate the release of the pie in the sky and say that claims that the pie will be too expensive are irrelevant as all new technologies typically cost more until economies of scale are achieved. Besides, it's pie! In the sky!

Skeptics claim that the pie in the sky is in fact cake rather than pie and that the cake is a lie. They go on to say that the pie in the sky will never be delivered and that the start up is just looking to fleece its investors.

Stay tuned for any further breathless breaking developments.

People who live in solar panel houses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36585928)

...should not throw photons

I knew it (0)

microbee (682094) | about 3 years ago | (#36586052)

My heart sank the day I heard they were acquired by Oracle. Now that's a comeback! It's amazing to see two amazing technologies, Windows and Solaris to come together!

Won't Happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36586100)

You won't see this technology in your home anytime soon. The corporate elite's won't allow new technology to get in the way of their profits. Besides, this technology has already been around, the military uses it now when they deploy to the field. zeitgeistmovie.com

Virtual Basement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36586322)

Yet another way that corporate building designers can reproduce working conditions similar to your room in the basement...

My first job was working for a an oil company in a small Canadian city. The office was an older 3 story building overlooking one of the main park-like squares. The building had windows that you could open. In the summer we would open the window and feel the summer breezes, smell flowers and cut grass, and hear distant music from the square bandstand during festival events. Granted, there are a lot less truly hot days in that region, but, in my opinion, it was a healthier environment than any other office building that I have been in since.

The closest that I've come to is my current office which has big tinted glass windows, which lets in a good amount of light.

Still, I long to be able to open a window again....

David

Imagine ... (0)

fractalspace (1241106) | about 3 years ago | (#36586440)

Imagine what it can do to Linux...

Simple. (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 3 years ago | (#36586590)

"...act as solar panels at the same time as blocking sunlight from entering..."

So what you mean to say is take current technology solar panels and use them for windows? As that would accomplish the same goal.

Wait, isn't lighting an energy need? (1)

Zadaz (950521) | about 3 years ago | (#36587026)

Back in the '80s they used to put tinted windows on buildings to block the sun to reduce air conditioning bills.

Then they realized that when they did this they spent more on lighting since the sun couldn't get in. So they moved to coatings that reflect heat but let the light through. Air conditioning bills down, lighting bills down, everyone wins.

Now they want to harvest the daylight, so that they can use that electricity to... light the office?

*sigh* I'm all for harvesting waste energy, but these don't harvest waste energy, they harvest something we're actually using!

Solar concrete. Now that would be something.

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36587174)

Finally a use for Windows(TM).

Guardian Industries also working on this (1)

kanwisch (202654) | about 3 years ago | (#36587350)

A relative is an employee and showed me an article from an internal newzine talking about this kind of development too. They have deeper pockets, I bet, too. Anyway, I recall it showing an auto moonroof application that I presume is oriented at electric/hybrid vehicles. But the company has many large building contracts so that would be a presumed application as well. As has already been noted, the question is value.

Solr windows has been out for several years (1)

billrp (1530055) | about 3 years ago | (#36587986)

it's written java - what's the story here?

What we really need (0)

sproketboy (608031) | about 3 years ago | (#36588102)

What we really need is a technology that turns Windows into Linux.
--
http://goldchest.sourcefore.net/ [sourcefore.net]
Goldbox re imagined

So ... what can it do to Linux? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36588346)

Great technology!

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