The company has been working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado to develop a technology that will transform any see-through surface, such as a window in any house or office building, into a transparent solar panel for several years.
“Our technology has the capacity to turn ordinary glass windows in America’s 5 million skyscrapers and commercial towers into power generators -- a huge commercial opportunity,” said John Conklin, President and CEO of New Energy Technologies.
The Maryland company has announced past successes in laboratory tests and research, but has been working to scale its technology up.
“As we continue to make important strides towards commercial manufacturability of our SolarWindow, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that various patent protections are secured immediately,” Conklin said in a statement.
The 21 new patents include some in US patent courts and some in international jurisdictions, according to a press release from New Energy.
The spray-on solar technology has huge market potential if it’s successful largely because it could be cost competitive as it could be sprayed onto existing surfaces and windows at room temperature. The aftermarket application could enable building owners to affordably solarize their entire buildings.
The technology is also able to transform indirect and ambient light as well as light from artificial sources like the fluorescent bulbs found in most high-rise office buildings.
SolarWindow can also be sprayed onto a see-through surface without disrupting the view out of the window any more than window tinting would.
New Energy Technologies also reports that its SolarWIndow technology has been able to successfully adhere to thin plastics and other flexible materials other than glass, which could open additional markets for SolarWindow beyond skyscrapers.
Of course, the company has said it expects the market for its product could be huge and include more than 85 million commercial buildings and dethatched single-family homes in the United States alone.