Power-generating glass windows installed at facility in Yokohama

Because the tasting room has a large opening and is facing southwest, the heat insulation and power generation capabilities of the product can be effectively used. The tasting room of Kirin Yokohama Beer Village(left) and the glass window embedded with solar cells (right). Source: Asahi Glass

TOKYO —

Asahi Glass Co Ltd says its “Attoch (for solar power generation)” solar cell-embedded glass windows have been installed at the Kirin Yokohama Beer Village in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture.

According to Asahi Glass, the Attoch is a glass plate featuring both energy-saving and energy creation capabilities, and this is the first time that it has been employed for actual use.

Kirin Yokohama Beer Village is a facility for visitors to taste Kirin Co Ltd’s beverages and is located on the premises of the company’s Yokohama Plant. It was renovated for the 90th anniversary of the plant, and the solar cell-embedded glass windows were installed as part of Kanagawa Prefecture’s “Project for Expanding Use of Thin-film Solar Cells.”

The tasting room has a large opening and is facing southwest. It received strong sunlight, making visitors feel hot. Therefore, Kirin introduced the power-generating glass windows. The company said that the concept of “ensuring a field of view, blocking heat and generating electricity with sunlight” matched its needs.

In addition to the energy saving and energy creation capabilities, the Attoch (for solar power generation) can be set up from the inside of a building, eliminating the need for scaffolding. As a result, it enables to shorten construction period and reduce costs, compared with the renovation of normal windows.

Also, the construction time per window is as short as 30 to 60 minutes, and it can be installed in any season. It mitigates summer heat and winter cold and prevents dew condensation, realizing a comfortable living environment.

Asahi Glass said it realized the improvement of power generation efficiency and a field of view by cutting monocrystalline solar cells into a bamboo blind-like shape. The Attoch is formed by sandwiching solar cells between laminated glass plates.

  • 4

    Kuribo1

    Neat hope more companies follow suit.

  • 8

    SenseNotSoCommon

    More of this, please!

  • 3

    Logical_Fallacy_Killer

    Well done!

  • 0

    Jason Santana

    Wtf??? We talk about energy conservation in the US and not one step such as this has been taken forward or the announced that it has been to implement these ideas. We should rejoice in our accomplishments, instead everyone is pitted against each other with what the future of energy production will be. If other countries keep on taking steps before us and wanting to actually get further we will be left behind.

  • 3

    kohakuebisu

    Sounds good.

    Interesting technology, especially for high rises and office blocks. Retrofitting on the inside makes things much easier. For homes though, conventional thinking is to design houses so that windows are shaded from direct sunlight most of the year to prevent overheating. Our house faces due south, but the windows only get sun between October and March because they are shaded by eves. The eves also protect the walls from rain, which is also a good thing in Japan's climate.

    More renewables! Less coal! Less nuclear!

  • 0

    sf2k

    I thought I had read something about clear solar panel windows in Australia and UK solar research? This isn't quite the same as the electrodes are still visible

  • 0

    mukashiyokatta

    Does this expose the people inside to EMFs?

  • 0

    Fadamor

    A nice idea, but the GIPV (glass-infused photo-voltaic) mod to the Attochi brand of panels doesn't come with any specifications as to how much current is able to be created. Even searching the Asahi Glass Company's website shows nothing about the GIPV variant. As the glass is custom fit to existing windows they obviously couldn't provide a fixed value, but they could at least provide a value per square meter.

  • -1

    Kittychosen

    I was told about this technology 5 years ago, told to not bother with solar panels, to wait until technology was improved.

    Glad I waited and didn't cover my roof with ugly solar panels.

  • 0

    as_the_crow_flies

    Conventional thinking is to design houses so that windows are shaded from direct sunlight most of the year to prevent overheating.

    I'm actually still shocked by the number of windows you see on Japanese buildings without any shading provided. No wonder so many buildings are like greenhouses in summer. I'd also like to know if this technology is on the market yet for people to retrofit home windows with.

  • 0

    wipeout

    Does this expose the people inside to EMFs?

    No, it's a new type of electricity that bypasses the electromagnetic force.

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