May 17, 2020

5 DOE Programs to Secure U.S. Energy Future

%180 million
5
advanced
agency
Admin
2 min
Renewable energy proponent Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks at ARPA-E summit
Written By: John Shimkus The Department of Energys Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) spends its time, and taxpayer money, searching for...

Written By: John Shimkus

The Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) spends its time, and taxpayer money, searching for the most cutting edge technologies to ensure U.S. energy security. The new federal budget, which was recently painstakingly passed, has allocated $180 million in research funds to ARPA-E for the following five projects:

1. Plants Engineered To Replace Oil (PETRO): PETRO aims to create plants that capture more energy from sunlight and convert that energy directly into fuels.

2. High Energy Advanced Thermal Storage (HEATS): HEATS seeks to develop revolutionary cost-effective thermal energy storage technologies.

3. Rare Earth Alternatives in Critical Technologies (REACT): REACT aims to fund early-stage technology alternatives that reduce or eliminate the dependence on rare earth materials by developing substitutes in two key areas: electric vehicle motors and wind generators.

4. Green Electricity Network Integration (GENI): GENI aims to fund innovative control software and high-voltage hardware to reliably control the grid.

5. Solar Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology (Solar ADEPT): Solar ADEPT aims to invest in key advances in magnetics, semiconductor switches, and charge storage, which could reduce power conversion costs.

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This marks ARPA-E’s fourth funding opportunity since its inception. ARPA-E has also attracted an additional $100 million in private funding from sources outside the government.

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Jun 22, 2021

Next Energy Technologies delivers PV window to Paris partner

Windows
SolarPV
construction
Paris
Dominic Ellis
4 min
Next Energy Technologies has delivered its energy-generating prototype window wall to Bouygues Construction in Paris

Next Energy Technologies, makers of a proprietary transparent PV coating that transforms commercial windows into energy producing solar panels, has delivered its PV Prototype Window Wall to Bouygues Construction in Paris.

Bouygues is a leading construction firm that specialises in complex commercial projects and the deal comes weeks after Next announced its $13.4 Million Series C round of funding (click here).

The PV Prototype Window Wall was delivered by NEXT in collaboration with its partners, Walters & Wolf, a leading commercial curtainwall manufacturer and glazing subcontractor headquartered in Fremont, California, and commercial glass fabricator, Glassfab Tempering  Services/Solarfab in Tracy, California. 

“NEXT’s technology is both unique and promising. We’re proud to support their collaboration with Bouygues Construction and will continue to work side by side with them in bringing their product to market,” said Nick Kocelj, President of Walters & Wolf.  

“We support NEXT Energy in their focused effort in providing a unique and innovative product to  the architectural market. When presented the opportunity to participate in this project, we were  eager to assist in any way possible”, said Brian Frea, President of Glassfab Tempering Services/ Solarfab. 

NEXT’s proprietary transparent PV coating transforms commercial windows into  energy-producing solar panels by converting unwanted infrared and UV light into electricity. This fully integrated system can help enable buildings to power themselves with their windows which  retain their traditional transparency and performance. 

The prototype installation consists of 10 transparent PV windows that supply electricity to a battery that powers an interactive display as well as auxiliary charging outlets, for phones, tablets and other electronics.

The purpose of this prototype demonstration is to showcase the  power generation functionality, the exceptional transparency and aesthetics, and the seamless  integration of NEXT windows into a standard glazing system designed by Walters & Wolf to  carry the electronics, wiring and hardware that comprise the balance-of-system. This direct integration into traditional commercial window and framing systems effectively extracts costs  typically associated with packaging and installation of solar. 

Installed in a typical commercial high-rise office building, the first generation of Next windows would offset as much as 10-20% of its power needs, and over a 30-year timeframe, such a building would produce about 20 million kWh of clean power, saving an average of $170,000  annually on utility bills and reducing 14,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the equivalent of powering 1,700 homes for an entire year. In the coming years, Next windows will be commercially available for window sizes up to 5 ft. x 10 ft (1.5 x 3 meters).  

Supply Chain solution to the climate crisis 

Next’s PV coatings are applied to commercial windows during the window fabrication  process, integrating with existing manufacturers without disrupting established workflows and  supply chains. This capital-efficient business model reduces risks to customers, removes  barriers to adoption, and accelerates speed to market, all while adding a high-value product to  the market. This direct integration into traditional commercial window and framing systems  effectively extracts costs typically associated with packaging and installation of solar.

"We are excited to be one of the first global construction companies pioneering NEXT's revolutionary transparent solar panel windows. This innovation will allow Bouygues Construction to offer its clients a simple, sustainable, and profitable solution for buildings that are autonomous in the management of their energy," said Christian De Nacquard, R&D and Innovation Director, Bouygues Bâtiment International.

The EU aims to be climate-neutral by 2050, requiring a fundamental transformation of the construction and building sectors, and 100% of new commercial buildings in California will be designed to zero net energy (ZNE) standards by 2030. Globally, buildings generate an estimated 40% of annual GHG emissions.

“Addressing the climate crisis at the corporate level requires creative and cost-effective solutions. Commercial buildings are an excellent example of something that can be re-imagined and improved to reduce carbon emissions and overall impact,” said Daniel Emmett,
CEO of NEXT. 

“At a more personal level, we’re seeing employees returning to office buildings after more than a year of lockdown vocally prioritise healthy and sustainable work environments as a requirement of in-person work."

In a recent survey, 74% of employees said they would consider changing jobs if their company did not meet their requirements for a healthy and sustainable office environment, added Emmett.

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