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Richard230
04 July 2011, 1804
My newspaper reports that a local start-up company in San Mateo, CA has received a $100,000 innovation award for its" windows that capture the sun's energy". The company, Pythagoras, recently won a GE Ecomagination Challenge award for its windows that have thin solar cells embedded between the dual panes of glass. Prisms next to the solar cells catch and concentrate the sunlight, directing it to the cells. The prisms also filter the light so the building doesn't get as hot, reducing the need for air conditioning.

The windows look a bit like Venetian blinds, with long horizontal lines across the window. They will sell for between $100 and $125 a square foot when they go on sale later this year, according to Udi Parei, Pythagoras Solar's director of business development.

Ken Zweibel, a professor who founded George Washington University's Solar Institute in 2008, says that other firms have succeeded in making windows that capture solar energy, but "they haven't succeeded in marketing them, because you aren't getting as much electricity when the energy gathering material is transparent and when its on the side of the building and not the top".

Paret said his company's products work differently. "In earlier products, the solar film lies vertically between the two panes of glass, like a slice of bologna lies between two pieces of bread in a sandwich. In Pythagoras's windows, the solar film is like a cherry tomato between the two panes, with a prism on either side of it. The prism allows diffused light to get into the building, creating shading and making the work environment more comfortable", Paret said. "That's how these windows not only convert sunlight to energy, but also reduce the amount of heat getting into the buildings".

The 4-year old company will soon employ five people at the San Mateo office and has a total of 30 employees worldwide.

jazclrint
04 July 2011, 1834
Very cool.