The Power of Glass at 2012 SPI Orlando

Generating Power with Building Integrated Photovoltaic Glass and the Expert Installers

September 2012Orlando, FL Unlike rooftop photovoltaic cells, building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) glass is a component of a building's structure and not simply added to the envelope. The result is a dual function of a structural component generating electricity. BIPV glass is manufactured as coupled dual pane glass with photovoltaic film sandwiched in between. The wires from the interior's side of the glass sends generated electricity to storage batteries and/or electric grid.


Installation of BIPV glass is considered glazing. The industry leaders and expert installers of glass are demonstrating the glazing process in their exhibit booth at the Solar Power International trade show in Orlando, FL. The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) representing the Glaziers are exhibiting walls of various energy saving and electric generating glass at booth #362.

"The complexity of today's glass systems and installation into modern structures necessitates years of training and expertise," says Joe Upchurch of IUPAT. "We are demonstrating the need to utilize expert glass installers to do the job right the first time."

Generally, BIPV glass is installed as multiple window building envelope walls' or placed individually similar to standard building glass. These window systems must be able to withstand heat, cold, wind, rain, and storms, while keeping building occupants comfortable without disruption from the outside elements. Photovoltaic glass is also installed as roof shingles and attractive awnings. Functionality of these systems is considered the power of glass.

"We have great interest from architects, property owners, and contractors as to the performance, aesthetics and proper installation of BIPV. There is no room to botch or miscalculate BIPV installation. That is why they come to us," said Upchurch.

The Solar Power International trade show is expecting to attract 21,000+ attendees from over 100 different countries. In the middle of all the excitement are Joe Upchurch and the IUPAT demonstrating BIPV and its expert installation. Visit expertinstallers.org.

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