GLOBAL MARKET TECHNOLOGY COMPARISON
The Solar Shutter Concept is validated by the following global market technology and product details:
In the article “Solar Windows Can Power Buildings” from ‘Computerworld’ 4th September 2015 by Lucas Mearian.
“Manhattan has approximately 47,000 buildings with around 10.7 million windows, according to a 2013 estimate from The New York Times.
Now imagine if just 1% or 100,700 of those windows could generate electricity through transparent photovoltaics.
That's the idea behind solar power windows, and at least two companies are hoping to sell the technology to window manufacturers, saying once installed in a building the technology will pay for itself in about a year.
That's the opportunity," said Suvi Sharma, CEO of solar panel maker ‘Solaria’.
Solaria uses existing photovoltaic (PV) cells and slices them into 2.5mm strips. It then sandwiches those thin PV strips between glass layers in a window.
Solaria is targeting its technology for windows that will be installed in newly constructed buildings.
Another company, ‘SolarWindow Technologies’, is pitching a different form of transparent PV cell technology for new construction, replacement windows and retrofits to existing windows.
Similarly, a team of researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) has developed a new type of transparent solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy.
One problem with MSU's technology is that more work is needed to improve its energy efficiency. Currently it is able to produce a solar conversion efficiency close to 1%, but the researchers hope to achieve efficiencies beyond 5% when fully optimized.
Today, traditional solar power panels that reside in solar farms or on building rooftops can achieve a PV efficiency of about 15% to 20%. The efficiency rating refers to how much of the photons striking a solar cell are converted into energy.
Solaria's solar window technology can achieve a solar efficiency of about 8% to 10%.
SolarWindow's Conklin would not disclose his company's technology efficiency rating, but did say it was less than standard PV panels.
"Obviously when you're looking at absorbing visible light and it's transparent, it's not as efficient as an opaque panel," Conklin said.
When you're looking at transparent or clear photovoltaics, it's not necessarily a function of power conversion efficiency as it is about using the vast amount of space available for that tech," Conklin said. "We're making use of the space that right now is not available for solar energy production. Passive windows are turned into active energy generating windows."
In other words, transparent solar PV is about not wasting perfectly good real estate in order to supplement a building's power requirements.
Solar windows will cost about 40% more than conventional windows, but the ROI is achievable in under a year and there's big demand even though products have yet to ship, the manufacturers say.
"It's actually very viable and will be even more viable as we approach our product launch," Conklin said. "It's in very high demand because right now skyscrapers don't have a good way of offsetting energy through renewable energy generation."
‘SOLAR SHUTTER' BENEFITS OVER THE ABOVE
TECHNOLOGIES AND PRODUCTS
A. Available to the mass market at retail outlets – Available to the mass market through wholesale Distributors and selected retail outlets.
B. Functional – Provides the same function as a traditional window shutter, blind or louvre in that it can block out the sun or remain open at an angle to provide shade and also provide a visual outlook.
C. Transportable – Often people in rented residential homes or business offices move locations, so the fact that the Solar Shutters are easily taken with and re-installed, means that the investment is not lost as it would be in a fixed glass product that cannot be moved.
THE ‘TESLA POWERWALL’
The Tesla Powerwall is a significant recent development in renewable energy storage and is no doubt a game-changer which will greatly enhance the Solar Shutters global commercial potential and viability.
Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s ‘Tesla Powerwall’ is ready to actively sell its revolutionary Powerwall home battery systems in Australia, which aim to reduce dependence on grid power.
Tesla is partnering with Australian solar panel companies and installers.
Tesla Energy spokesman Heath Walker yesterday said partners would be announced within days, and the roll out would occur next year.
Tesla is marketing its Powerwall Batteries as a way of spreading solar energy gathered during times of sunshine and making it available at other times of the day and night. The batteries can provide backup power during outages and when used with the grid, can store power generated at off-peak and make it available for peak-time use.
He said the USA, Canada, Germany and Australia would be the first countries to get Powerwalls.
He said Australia’s climate, existing use of solar panels, increasing power prices and existence of a feed-in-tariff for people who provide external power to the grid made Australia an attractive market.
“I think the stronger case will be to reduce the dependence on grid power rather than completely getting off the grid. “There may be some people who buy enough Powerwalls to try that, but you have to rely on your solar generating enough power on a regular basis to completely get off the grid.”
Tesla is selling two models: a 7 kWh unit with a daily cycle designed for home use, and a 10 kWh one that stores power for a week, for back-up use.
Whilst solar energy users have used standard batteries to store power, the Powerwall uses Lithium-ion batteries specifically for home use.
Mr. Walker said “one of the reasons we are coming to Australia is that we expect the uptake to be extremely high”
Mr. Walker said “as grid prices continued to increase, more and more people will want to exit the grid, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.
‘SOLAR SHUTTERS’ CONNECTED
TO THE 'TESLA POWERWALL'
The current residential business model for the Tesla Powerwall is for it to be connected and recharged by Solar Roof Panels.
Therefore our Solar Shutters offer exactly the same compatibility with the Tesla Powerwall, and can be easily connected to recharge the Tesla Powerwall for Residential Apartments and Business Offices, which currently do not have this option, as they do not have the roof space for the installation of the Solar Roof Panels.