SolarWindow Technologies invests $25 million in manufacturing lines and hiring

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SolarWindow Technologies in investing $25 million, mostly raised from their CEO and founder’s family investment office – the Kalen Capital Corporation (KCC). They plan to purchase equipment and hire personnel required for manufacturing. As of August 31, the company currently had two full time employees.

This action follows the group receiving the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office in the spring. The grant is aimed toward companies who manufacture devices or systems in specialized commercial areas, or who will be able to manufacture their products as a direct result of the grant.

SolarWindow Technologies does not appear to publish the product’s efficiency. However, it has a rough ‘power model‘ on its website. The power model compares how much electricity could be generated by the facade of a 50 story building – versus the rooftop of said building.

SolarWindow says its product has a one year payback, and that a 50-story building facade – 360° covered – would be equivalent to approximately 10-12 acres (1-2 MW) of ground mounted solar power.

Competitor Onyx Solar also suggests a less than one-year payback on its solar window product. Onyx also put out a nice PDF which breaks down solar glass efficiency versus visibility, and then gets into the costs of installation.

In the companies most recent Form 10-K filing they noted some of their technological and manufacturing progressions and positions. Early in March 2018, the company announced an increase in its glass’ performance by 34% over prior versions.

Glass modules were subjected to the extremely high heat and pressure of autoclave equipment located at the fabricator’s facility

Research in making windows that are both useful in allowing light to the interior of a structure, as well generating electricity, is an ongoing topic. Very recently, a University of Michigan team that hopes to offer a 15% efficient solar window product, that allows 50% of the light through, has received $1.3 million from the Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office to develop it further. This summer, Italy-based Glass to Power raised €2.25 million via crowdfunding to advance its plans for the roll out of an industrial production line for its transparent solar PV windows. The product is expected to be marketed in 2019.

The $25 million equity financing announced consisted of a $19.8 million cash component, of which KCC accounted for approximately $19.7 million, and an additional $5.2 million debt conversion component reflecting the conversion by KCC of $3.6 million principal mount of outstanding loan indebtedness and $1.6 million of accrued and unpaid interest thereon into equity of the company.