King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Iyris offers a new technology which allows any window to become a solar panel. Their photovoltaic cells are transparent and can thus be seamlessly integrated into windows, making them both energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing. Currently, the photovoltaic market is dominated by silicon-based solar installations. Its method of manufacture constitutes an obstacle for the technology to become truly ‘building-integrated’: The panels are usually retrofitted to buildings in costly and labour-intensive processes. In addition, silicon cells are opaque, which makes them incompatible with transparent glazing. iyris’s transparent photovoltaic technology captures the invisible portion of the sunlight and turns it into usable electricity whilst blocking heat from entering the building. This allows for a truly building-integrated photovoltaic technology which supplies power and reduces a building’s energy cooling load. In addition, unlike rival technologies, iyris’s can be fabricated for less money, on a wider range of substrates, and with enhanced stability. Suitable for everything from skyscrapers to greenhouses, iyris technology could become a key ingredient for the development of zero-energy buildings and viable desert agriculture. The heat-blocking and electricity-generating capabilities could enable desert agriculture to become a viable food source for the one billion people who live in desert environments.