After tests at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (LBNL) FLEXLAB, Solaria BIPV (building integrated photovoltaics) solar windows have been accepted into the US GSA Green Proving Ground (GPG) program.
Solaria BIPV windows will be installed in a commercial pilot project in Kansas City, Missouri this year to demonstrate their viability as an aesthetic, energy generating solution. The test site slated for this pilot is a federal building in the city.
While demonstrating its BIPV technology in an occupied building, Solaria, the GSA, and LBNL will compile data on energy generation, thermal performance, daylighting, glare, and occupant comfort. This information will be compared with non-BIPV windows in the same building.
FLEXLAB is the first world testbed to evaluate the energy efficiency of major building systems, as an integrated system, under real-world conditions.
According to FLEXLAB, stakeholders can evaluate energy efficient building technologies individually or as integrated systems in advance of building projects or retrofits, in order to:
- Optimize integrated systems to maximize energy savings
- Ensure occupant comfort and user-friendliness
- Verify cost-benefit numbers
- Train building operators
- Build confidence in new technologies
“By measuring a building’s energy use under real-world conditions and on a significant scale, FLEXLAB provides real-time assessment of building energy use. FLEXLAB offers a way to test-drive energy efficiency systems, identify problems, and make changes before breaking ground. FLEXLAB unleashes the real potential of energy efficiency in buildings.
“In addition to the factors above, it includes evaluation of the design-build process and economics,” the company stated in a press announcement.
Following the successful testing GPG testing with FLEXLAB, Solaria officials anticipate performance results will show its BIPV windows offer the building and construction industries a reliable, seamless alternative to traditional glass solutions for commercial buildings.
“The Green Proving Ground program is committed to driving innovation that improves building performance,” said Kevin Powell, GPG program manager at the GSA. “We hope that real-world evaluations like this one will accelerate adoption of sustainable building technologies around the nation.”
“We believe that the path to [net] zero starts by eliminating energy waste, then increasing the intelligence of buildings through smart, responsive, people-friendly operating controls and finally introducing renewables for micro generation,” said Stephen Selkowitz, senior advisor for building science, LBNL.
The goal of the GSA’s GPG program is twofold. First, it enables new technologies to quickly become proven commercial products by absorbing the risk and performing rigorous testing and validation. Second, it provides incentives for building owners to become early adopters of innovative technologies that might help them achieve their energy saving goals.
Image via Green Builder Media