In a revolutionary move for the solar power industry, Solar Window Technologies recently announced a new flexible solar panel coating for curved glass surfaces that is as thin as a business card and flexible enough to bend without breaking or cracking. The company says that, when applied to a 50-storey building, the coatings can achieve a one-year financial payback by creating 50-times more power than conventional solar. To put it that claim into perspective, the average solar system take about five to 11 years for a full payback.

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SolarWindow is currently a leading developer of transparent solar coatings for glass windows in tall towers and skyscrapers. With this new product, the first-ever electricity-generating flexible glass, the transparent SolarWindow coatings allow solar power to easily be integrated into a variety of non-flat surfaces, including applications in the automotive, aircraft and military industries.

“Flexible glass could play a big role in window, canopy, smart building, and other building and transportation products. We believe that flexible glass can serve an even more valuable purpose by generating electricity using SolarWindow coatings,” said President and CEO, John A. Conklin.

SolarWindow’s coatings are transparent, ultra-light weight and generate electricity when applied in layers thinner than a human hair.

Related: Check out the world’s first lights powered by micro-sphere solar cells

If the technology for their new product is the same as their original product for skyscraper windows, the coatings will be made of mainly organic components, including carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen; with the key part being the active layer that generates electricity through the absorption of light, and transparent conductors that extract electricity.

The company estimates the market for their new product at about $25 billion. Now that it’s completed tests to show its coatings perform under real-life conditions, it’s well on its way toward accessing that money and keeping more carbon out of the atmosphere.

+ SolarWindow Technologies

Images via SolarWindow