Two awards and a new project

As an introduction to this year’s first newsletter, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Michael Graetzel, EPFL, who was awarded with the King Faisal International Prize (Saudi Arabia) and then in March with the Prize of Merit from the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland.

As Professor Graetzel is already a lecturer at the University of Jeddah, the King Fasal International Prize will further increase the exposure of our DSC technology in this region and so increase our visibility in the Middle East.

In this region where sand is omnipresent, dust gathers and settles on the surface of the solar panels that are installed at a virtually horizontal angle, thereby altering the panels’ performance. Frequent and expensive cleaning is required to overcome this problem.

Thanks to our bifacial functioning panels that are installed vertically, this problems is greatly reduced and allows the H.Glass panels to be cleaned at an interval of once to twice a year, which is a standard cleaning frequency for glass buildings around the world. In addition to their transparency, our panels protect the interior of the building as they block up to 70% of the heat-generating infrared rays. This is a major advantage in a region where glass buildings are on the rise. Our modules clearly demonstrate that they are more than simple photovoltaic panels; they are indeed multifunctional glass construction panels.

The prize of Merit from the Canton of Vaud is an award given by the authorities of this canton where Professor Graetzel’s laboratories are located, crowning all the work realized by professor Graetzel since his arrival at the EPFL in 1977. It’s important to mention that the laboratories of Photonics and Interface (LPI) at the EPFL, employ close to 40 scientists, working to develop better dyes, electrolytes and other materials, all contributing to a constant improvement of our technology. H.Glass therefore works closely with the EPFL laboratories on various industrialization projects. At the beginning of March Professor Michael Graetzel, Professor Anders Hagfeldt and Doctor Sahik Zakeeruddin visited our premises to discuss technology transfer from the EPFL laboratories to the industrial production at H.Glass.

New project

Expo 2015, the universal exposition, hosted by Milan, Italy, will take place between May 1 and October 31 2015. The event’s tallest feature will be a construction representing the sun on the roof of the Austrian pavilion. Austria’s pavilion with the theme “Energy for life. Breathe. Austria” will focus on sustainable energy, its integration into buildings and its efficiency in energy consumption. The sun will be made up of 78 g2e panels in orange, red and green. Our panels were delivered at the beginning of March to SFL, the company that will install the panels at the universal exposition in April. Professor Michael Graetzel, inventor of this technology, will be present at the inauguration of this installation in May. The H.Glass team is honoured to present the panels that are the world’s largest (6000 cm²) and the only glass encased panels at this very prestigious exhibition. We will share the first images from this event with you as soon as they will be available. In our next newsletter we will present our design concepts as well as the various projects we are working on, e.g. the building that the Group E is currently building at the aeropole in Payerne, Switzerland.

A new patent and continued R&D

Two prizes awarded to its inventor, a worldwide exposure for H.Glass at the Expo 2015 in Milan, our technology doesn’t stop here. We have deposited a patent for the production of our large panels. Our invention enables us to manufacture large modules that can absorb the various effects of illumination and associated heat. We currently have two standard modules, i.e. : 100cmx60cm (6000cm²) that can be installed either vertically or horizontally. These are the largest available panels in the market today. In the very near future, we will be able to supply modules of 100cmx100cm. Our technology is continuously evolving and in this spirit, we continue our research and development with several Swiss laboratories.