A transparent photovoltaic glass block: an idea born in the middle of October 2018 and immediately patented, it was realized only two weeks later, when, at the Ecomondo KeyEnergy Fair in Rimini, the first prototype of Power Glass Block was ready to be presented, arousing the interest of many.
The glass block, in fact, is a product that has more than fifty years of life and was imported in Italy thanks to Bormioli Rocco, the famous glass factory of Fidenza. Nowadays on our table or in our cupboards there is certainly some object signed by Bormioli that, among other things, produces the glass blocks of the highest quality that you can find on the market. However, the use of this building material in construction has been decreasing, especially in the last fifteen years, since the thermal insulation of glass walls is lower than that of other solutions. This is due to the fact that the classic glass block consists of two simple glass shells that are melted together during production. Glass, however, is a good conductor of heat, and this causes glass walls to transmit the outside temperature inside, so today, glass blocks are used above all to create semi-transparent partitions and internal walls.
Glass to Power now has the opportunity to rethink the glass block bringing not one, but two additional advantages: the Power Glass Block project involves the construction of a photovoltaic glass block, transparent and thermally insulated. We are now in touch with the head of production at Bormioli Rocco to verify the feasibility of this new product, in which the two shells are separated by a slab of transparent photovoltaic plexiglass. This solution would allow the production of electrical energy, at the same time obtaining a higher thermal insulation, thanks to the poor thermal conductivity of the plastic material. In addition, the reduced size of a glass block – normally 20 x 20 cm – would allow us to obtain a high efficiency of electrical production of our luminescent solar concentrators. We are therefore studying this “four-handed” solution with one of the most important Italian excellences, and we hope that this product can be added to the range of Glass to Power’s products.