World’s 1st Colored Energy-generating Solar Glass
A new entity, Emirates Insolaire, was entrusted to introduce the concept across the world. Emirates Insolaire is part of Glass LLC and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dubai Investments PJSC. Emirates Insolaire is a joint venture using KromatixTM technology of SwissINSO SA, a Switzerland-based pioneer in the development and application of new solar technologies and products. The company will produce the solar glass at the Emirates Glass manufacturing facility in the UAE, which has been modified to adapt the new technology.
The glass, developed in close collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL – Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne), comes in virtually any color. Optimized for both photovoltaic modules – which use cells to convert solar radiation into electricity – and solar thermal collectors, the glass provides a mat colored, architecturally aesthetic appearance to solar panels, preserving more than 90 % of efficiency. Emirates Insolaire is targeting 10 % of the global solar glass market within a short period. Over 1 billion m2 solar glass – both photovoltaic and thermal – would be installed across the world by 2015, industry estimates reveal. The colored solar glass technology has already generated a lot of interest in the sector, with clients across several markets including Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, USA, Brazil, India, Singapore, Dominican Republic, among others, lined up to receive and certify their panels with the new technology from the manufacturing unit in the UAE. The photovoltaic market, in particular, has achieved exponential growth globally over the years. The market was 40 GW in 2010, representing 200 Mm2 glass, and has grown 40 % year-on-year. The number of installations foreseen for 2015 is 160 GW – approximately 800 Mm2 glass. The thermal solar glass market was 183 Mm2 glass in 2006, and has been growing by 12 % year-on-year since then. The faster growth pace today as well as for the future, is the photovoltaic integration on buildings. The share of building integrated photovoltaic for roofs and facades, one of the specializations of Emirates Insolaire, is also witnessing rapid growth. It was 5 % few years ago, and in the near future it is expected that the solar installations on roofs and facades will represent 60 % of the total solar market. Each colored solar panel with KromatixTM technology can generate above 130 W electric power per square meter on roofs or above 100 W per square meter on façades.