May 17, 2020

Pythagoras Solar to Cover Former Sears Tower Skyscraper with Solar Panels

2 min
Chicago's Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) to get solar panel upgrade
Its about time a company figured out a way to make use of the immense square-footage available on the surface of a skyscraper, let alone the fifth large...
It’s about time a company figured out a way to make use of the immense square-footage available on the surface of a skyscraper, let alone the fifth largest freestanding skyscraper in the world! Pythagoras Solar, an alternative energy start-up, has struck a novel deal with the owners of the Chicago’s Willis Tower—formerly the Sears Tower. Pythagoras plans to cover the skyscraper’s south-facing side with solar panels to create a vertical 2 MW solar farm.

The Willis Tower has 108 stories, and during the summer, solar glare and building cooling costs have become a problem. The solution: solar panels that offset the skyscraper’s energy needs while providing window shade.


Collaboration and Consensus Building for Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas

Beyond Solar Panels: Six Types of Solar Power Plants

The Remote Controlled Mine: Robotic and Virtual Mining Machinery and Equipment

Check out the latest edition of Energy Digital!


Pythagoras Solar’s window pane solar panel design—called high-density photovoltaic glass units (HD-PVGUs)—acts as slat blinds, blocking some sunlight from entering the building but still providing a view of the city below. The glass panes contain thin layers of monocrystalline silicone pressed between glass sheets. Internal plastic prisms direct angled sunlight while allowing diffused sunlight and indirect reflected sunlight into the building, resolving intense summer glare issues while harnessing the sun’s natural energy.

The Willis (Sears) Tower solar farm is expected to provide as much power as a 10-acre ground installation. If the project—still in the planning phase—is a success, it could set a precedent for using skyscrapers all over the world for solar energy generation. This is such a smart and novel way of using space and saving acres of land for conservation purposes or other development ventures.

Share article

Apr 12, 2021

GM-backed Cruise robotaxis to operate in Dubai from 2023

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Cruise robotaxis to be launched in Dubai from 2023 and ramped up to 4,000 cars by 2030
Cruise robotaxis to be launched in Dubai from 2023 and ramped up to 4,000 cars by 2030...

Futuristic-loving Dubai is teaming up with General Motors to introduce Cruise self-driving taxis in the city from 2023 and become the first to operate the vehicles outside the US.

It plans to ramp up the vehicles, which have been operating in San Francisco, to 4,000 cars by 2030.

In a statement, it said the move supports Dubai’s 2030 vision for self-driving technology, as the emirate seeks to reduce transportation costs by AED900 million a year and save AED1.5 billion a year by reducing environmental pollution by 12 per cent.

It added that it would generate AED18 billion annually by increasing the efficiency of the city's transport sector.

Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, saidt he selection of Cruise was not taken lightly and it engage in a comprehensive, multi-year process to choose the best possible partner. 

"Cruise’s technology, resources, purpose-built vehicle, automaker partnerships, approach to safe testing and deployment and strategy give them the ability to launch safely and faster than any other company," he said. 

Vehicles collect petabyte-scale data daily from sensors, complementing ML, AI and robotic technology. 

In January, Cruise and General Motors entered into a long-term strategic relationship with Microsoft to accelerate the commercialization of self-driving vehicles, leveraging Azure, its cloud and edge computing platform (click here). 

Microsoft will join General Motors, Honda and institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise, bringing the post-money valuation of Cruise to $30 billion.

"Advances in digital technology are redefining every aspect of our work and life, including how we move people and goods,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. "As Cruise and GM's preferred cloud, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream."  

Share article