It looks like a window, but this conference room is actually coated in solar panels.

Pythagoras Solar, whose conference room is shown above, was one of five Innovation Award winners last week in GE’s ecomagination contest. The California-based firm has developed a unique transparent photo-voltaic (PV) panel that acts as both a window and an electrical generator. In addition, the panel provides a thermal shading barrier that keep the sun’s heat out of buildings, ideally allowing them to use less energy for cooling during the summer.

The glass solar panel, depicted below, is specially designed with the PV panels perpendicular to the glass, allowing the sun’s rays to hit the sensors, but allowing a viewer to see only glass.


The project is already at commercialization stage and has been deployed in buildings in Israel and the United States. With the $100,000 from the ecomagination award, the company plans to scale up production even further, Udi Paret, vice president of business development and marketing for Pythagoras, told Breaking Energy.

According to Paret, the company will also be announcing key partnerships later this year with several glass and technology companies that will allow the solar panels to be produced on this larger scale.

Domestic and other forms of distributed solar generation are a subject of intense activity in the energy business, with Google‘s investment in SolarCity, which specializes in programs to place solar panels on homes at low upfront cost to the user.

This video, from Pythagoras Solar, explains what their solar panel does, and how the company plans to deploy it around the world: