The Biomedical and Physical Sciences Building on the campus of Michigan State University received a first-of-its-kind upgrade with the installation of transparent solar glass panels. The 100 square feet of transparent solar glass installed above the building’s entryway will generate enough electricity to power lighting in its atrium.
The panels were developed and manufactured by Ubiquitous Energy, together with Richard Lunt, the Johansen Crosby Endowed Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science in the MSU College of Engineering. Lunt is a co-founder of Ubiquitous Energy, and the two groups have collaborated for many years to advance transparent solar technology.
“The realities of climate change mean we need to find more ways to use renewable energy,” Lunt said. “Transparent solar glass expands the options of solar power tremendously and changes the way we think about generating power. There is no longer a tradeoff between aesthetics and renewable energy. You could turn nearly every surface of a building or landscape into a solar array and generate power right where you use it without even knowing that it’s there.”
The installation marks the first deployment of this technology at any building in the world outside of Ubiquitous Energy and its commercial partners. It is also a first for any university.