Volume 44, Issue 2 - February 2009

Solar Watch

RSi-Solar Unveils First Power-Generating Glass Window 

Rainbow Solar Inc. (RSi) in Pasadena, Calif. has introduced the world’s first transparent, photovoltaic (PV) glass window, which generates 80 to 250 watts of electricity. 

This next-generation building integrated PV (BIPV) product is made up of an enclosed tempered glass window system and a patent-pending, fully integrated, multi-tier PV and heat insulation technology. 

Up to 9- by 9-foot in size, the company says the product features comprehensive options to meet design, weather, climate and building code requirements. In addition, RSi embedded “smart home” technologies into the window, including an optional built-in electrical privacy curtain, to completely block out the already shaded glass window, and a new technology that converts the entire window into a light panel. 

The window showed energy savings greater than 50 percent in a hot-house test, according to a study conducted by the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. 

RSi is also introducing a modular megawatt PBS/UPS power storage system. It uses new battery technology with a projected lifespan of 55 years, according to test results from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia Lab. www.solar.tm

company news

Crystal Windows Launches Solar Power Subsidiary

Crystal Window & Door Systems in Queens, N.Y., has launched a solar subsidiary, Helios Energy Systems. Named after the Greek mythological god of the sun, the new firm will focus on the solar generation of electric power through the use of photovoltaic (PV) technology. Helios will provide commercial, residential, multi-family and institutional building owners and distributors of PV technology with environmentally friendly solar power systems to lower electric operating costs, reduce power plant carbon dioxide emissions, assist with building LEED or NAHB certifications and improve the environment. 

“We see a very bright future for our new solar power subsidiary,” says Thomas Chen, president of Helios and president and founder of Crystal Windows. “This ‘green’ technology is still in the early stages of market development. However, by investing resources now into a new enterprise, we assure ourselves of growth and success, as well as providing energy and environmental benefits as the market develops and expands.” 

Initially, Helios Energy Systems will provide design, sales and installation services to home and building owners as well as act as a wholesale distributor of solar PV power systems. In the future, the firm plans to become a manufacturer of solar panel modules as well as associated racks and mounting systems. Ultimately, the firm envisions the ability to not only produce independent stand-alone solar modules, but to incorporate them into building façade elements to create building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panels. The company will also work with building owners and various government agencies to capture available energy credits and tax benefits for its projects. 

Helios Energy Systems is headquartered at its parent company’s main offices in Queens. The solar energy firm will focus in the near term on serving the New York City tri-state metropolitan area and the long-term goal of serving the national market. www.crystalwindows.com 

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