NEXT Energy Technologies transforms the way we design, build, and operate solar technologies by turning windows into energy producing assets. The company’s proprietary solar paneling technology helps commercial buildings produce onsite renewable energy and reduce overall energy consumption.
40% of the global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are associated with buildings. Many companies are looking for ways to help buildings make substantial progress in becoming more energy efficient to achieve net zero energy. However, traditionally there remains a missing link because of the lack of options for on-site clean renewables. High costs, less than desirable aesthetics, and limited transparency of energy efficiency measurements have been barriers to solar’s return on investment for real estate owners, investors, and operators. Imagine if you could utilize the existing facade of a building for such energy generation instead of relying on solar panels?
Windows and glass facades have the potential to help move buildings, cities, and entire economies to net zero emissions. One innovative company, NEXT Energy Technologies is giving glass something new to do: generate solar energy and transform windows into a new energy source for buildings. NEXT’s solution aims to revolutionize the building facade market by integrating transparent solar cells into glass facades at the window manufacturing stage. The result? An innovative solution that reduces solar adoption barriers with transparency, aesthetics, performance, and improved unit economics.
How does the NEXT product work?
NEXT’s transparent photovoltaic coating transforms commercial windows into energy-producing solar panels. It converts unwanted infrared and UV sunlight into electricity while enabling visible light to pass through. This fully integrated system can help enable buildings to power themselves with their windows. NEXT’s product philosophy guides its product innovation to make solar modules look and feel like normal windows but with solar energy generation capabilities embedded.
The organic solar cells, or semiconductors, are commonly made from elements such as carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, fluorine, oxygen, and sulfur. NEXT’s carbon-based materials are cost effective, abundant, and can be easily recycled. NEXT’s window coatings are applied to glass in several layers, a pre-coating of fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO glass), a top transparent electrode as a wet coating, and multiple functional layers in between. All these layers are solution-coated (printed) except for the initial pre-coated transparent contact. Due to the innovative wet coating process for all the layers, NEXT can offer lower processing and capital costs for solar module windows.
NEXT’s strategy is to capture a leadership position in this market by partnering with established industry players to integrate their technology into their window offerings. This partner and embed strategy allows NEXT to stay capital efficient as the company scales its technology more quickly in multiple markets. By making it easy for everyone to understand, buy, and install solar technology within windows, NEXT can better integrate their technology in this complex and conservative window supply chain. Ultimately, NEXT helps buildings and building owners achieve net zero goals and compliance regulation at a lower cost than conventional solar panels.
To learn more about NEXT Energy Technologies, watch the company presentation at our Understory Showcase here: Understory’s ‘Startups Driving Sustainability’ - July 2021 Showcase Event.