This project at the University of Washington features 650 sqm (or 7,000 sqft) of transparent photovoltaic glass manufactured by Onyx Solar in their ‘Life Science Building’, dedicated to Research and Development activities.
It is a seven-story construction, including two below ground, which has been envisioned as a benchmark project in terms of energy efficiency, innovation and onside renewable energy. The deployment and usage of clean energy sources were a primary objective of the University’s Climate Action Plan for Sustainability.
The University of Washington Solar student group, which ranges from undergraduates to Ph. D level, worked to design and install a 100-kilowatt solar system, featuring an innovative vertical photovoltaic fin system installed on the South West elevation of the building.
These fins are the first of its kind in the United States and made from amorphous silicon solar cells that capture the sunlight and convert it into clean electricity.
They are all glass, semi-transparent, letting 20% visible light to pass through each fin. Each fin consists of a three-ply laminated tempered glass and offers 3.15 watts per square foot. They are frameless and installed vertically and a 90-degree able to the curtain wall.
The lobby of the building will feature a dashboard that will let students and visitors learn from the system and monitor the energy production in real time. They will be able to compare the building’s energy demand against the renewable energy sources on site and explore the model.