Pythagoras Solar to commercialize photovoltaic glass units

Glass Magazine
May 18, 2010
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION : SOLAR

Pythagoras Solar, San Mateo, Calif., a provider of building-integrated photovoltaic products, announced plans to commercialize the industry’s first energy efficient, transparent and high power density photovoltaic glass unit, according to a May 18 release. The company’s groundbreaking new technology is the first to combine energy efficiency, solar power generation and appealing aesthetics in a single green building material: a solar window. PVGU products will be available for curtain walls, skylights and windows in the second half of 2010.

The company has established formal relationships with Arkema, Philadelphia, China Sunergy, China, and Flextronics, all of which will help Pythagoras Solar to quickly scale its operations as it prepares for commercial production and distribution, according to the release.

Pythagoras Solar leverages a combination of patent-pending optics, high-efficiency crystalline silicon, advanced materials science and simulation software to create a highly efficient photovoltaic glass unit, a new category of green building material. Unlike existing BIPV products, Pythagoras Solar curtain walls, skylights and windows simultaneously block solar radiation; concentrate sunlight and convert it into solar power; and deliver a high level of transparency for optimal daylighting and aesthetics. Click here to see a video animation and images of the PVGU platform.

“Our new PVGU technology finally bridges the gap between energy efficiency and energy generation – enabling the architecture, engineering and construction sectors to accelerate the deployment of cost-effective distributed power generation and to advance aesthetically-pleasing Net Zero Energy Buildings,” said Gonen Fink, co-founder and CEO, Pythagoras Solar, in the release. “Our partners across the value chain are responding very positively to the combination of economic, environmental and aesthetic benefits.”

Designed to be an easily integrated component of conventional building construction, Pythagoras Solar products offer triple-value benefits by combining the energy efficiency benefits of an insulating glass unit, the shading and lighting benefits of patent-pending optics, and high-efficiency solar power generation, which combined offer architectural adaptability and increased real estate value.

Pythagoras Solar is already working with large-scale materials, manufacturing and building industry partners, thus ensuring quality and reliability; simplifying procurement and installation; and reducing costs.

“We are very excited to partner with Pythagoras Solar on the production of the company’s revolutionary PVGU products" said E.C. Sykes, president of Flextronics Industrial, in the release. "Our early involvement in the design process will not only help the team to optimize the product in the early stages of development, it will also help to leverage Flextronics’ scalable and repeatable manufacturing process. We are always happy to provide our industry leading Clean Tech solutions and services to companies such as Pythagoras Solar that enable green applications which meet the high quality requirements of the solar industry and are aesthetically pleasing.”

Research firm NanoMarkets forecasts the global BIPV market to exceed $8 billion by 2015, according to the release. In 2008, Pythagoras Solar announced it had raised US$10 million in a Series A funding round led by Israel Cleantech Ventures to invest in R&D and product commercialization. The company has raised a total of US$11 million in seed and venture capital funding to date.

“Pythagoras Solar’s approach to BIPV is unique and overcomes barriers to adoption for the architecture, engineering and construction community,” said Meir Ukeles, partner, Israel Cleantech Ventures, in the release. “As the solar PV market matures, we expect that BIPV will represent a much larger portion of new distributed generation installations given the volume of available square footage for PVGU installations.”