At the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Los Alamos, New Mexico, the windows generate electricity themselves. But the guests are unaware that this is happening.
“The beauty of our technology is that it looks no different than a regular window,” says Hunter McDaniel, Founder and CEO of UbiQDthe company that developed the windows.
They’re made with what are called quantum dots, tiny particles that absorb sunlight and convert it to a glow outside the visible spectrum of light. This glow is then routed to solar cells at the edge of the window.
The hotel’s windows are part of a pilot project and the technology is not yet commercially available, but McDaniel plans to start selling the windows this year.
He says they are an ideal solution for urban areas.
“If you go into a city and look around, there’s nowhere to put solar panels,” he says. “On the roofs there are HVAC systems, leisure areas.”
And the roofs are small compared to the height of the buildings.
But the sides of high-rise buildings are usually glass, so solar windows could fit right in.
And McDaniel says windows can produce up to 40% of a building’s typical energy needs, so they’re a promising way to help reduce the climate impact of buildings in the city.
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media