‘Smart’ glass to make buildings energy-neutral
In the Netherlands, all new buildings will have to meet the European requirements for almost energy-neutral buildings as from 2020. Lusoco is taking advantage of this new need by offering specially printed glass that can capture solar energy and transform it into electricity.
In the future, especially high-rise buildings have to become energy-neutral, but for aesthetic reasons alone, it’s unacceptable to install ugly black solar panels at the facade of a building.
Luminescent solar power
Lusoco – the name is based on the used technology: luminescent concentrated solar power – therefore developed a new technology. A thin layer of light-sensitive ink is printed on glass by means of inkjet-printing. The special fluorescent ink captures the sunlight by day and transports it by fluorescence to the side of the window or the panel, where small solar cells transform it into electricity.
“Sunlight is the most promising sustainable way of producing energy”, Lusoco’s co-founder, Jeroen ter Schiphorst, says. “In the future high-rise buildings will have to produce energy, but with traditional solar panels alone it’s impossible to meet European targets. That’s why we have developed this new technology, together with the Technical University of Eindhoven (the Netherlands).
Blot on the landscape
Biggest advantage is that thanks to the glass the buildings will not be a blot on the landscape and the glass will stay transparent. When the technology is combined with sensors, the produced electricity can also be used to open or close sun blinds or to give information about the outside temperature or particles in the air.
Today this technology is unable to make a building energy-neutral yet, but the team is working hard to improve efficiency.
In the meantime, the company is working at other applications of the new technology, light the illumination of facades, light-emitting publicity and the automotive industry.