New Hampshire Patent of the Month – February 2024

Stellaris Corporation, creators of the ClearPower™ window technology,  has been granted a patent for their innovative technology which has been reshaping the landscape of solar photovoltaics. Their innovative photovoltaic window pane is set to revolutionize the integration of solar cells into building materials.

The core of this innovation lies in the transparent sheet of polymeric material, meticulously engineered with slots that house one or more photovoltaic cells. These slots, with depths ranging from 1.5 mm to 8.0 mm and widths of 0.2 mm to 2.0 mm, are strategically designed to accommodate solar cells efficiently. The material’s refractive index (RI), a critical factor in optical performance, is precisely controlled. For instance, the use of poly(methyl methacrylate) ensures a refractive index of 1.49.

What sets Stellaris’ invention apart is the introduction of an optically coupling fluid, specifically phenyl methyl polysiloxane, into the slots. This fluid remains in a fluid state, ensuring flexibility and adaptability, and its refractive index is meticulously tuned. It adheres to a strict range, staying no more than 0.01 units below or 0.2 units above the refractive index of the polymeric material. This coupling fluid plays a pivotal role, allowing light to pass through, make contact with the photovoltaic cells, and generate electrical power.

To further enhance the structure, a transparent cover sheet, with a thickness between 1.0 mm and 5.0 mm, is sealed to the first sheet. This cover sheet complements the overall design, ensuring durability and longevity while maintaining the desired optical properties.

Stellaris’ photovoltaic window pane isn’t just a standalone product; it’s a scalable solution. Individual panes can be seamlessly joined, creating larger units with increased electrical output. The assembly process involves solvent welding or adhesive bonding, providing both mechanical stability and airtight seals to maintain the integrity of the system.

The invention isn’t just a leap in solar technology; it’s a potential game-changer for architecture and energy efficiency. With its ability to generate electric power while maintaining transparency, this photovoltaic window pane opens up new possibilities for sustainable building design. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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