Smart Solar Windows – A Step Towards Carbon Neutral Buildings

EPA Grant Number: SU835940
Title: Smart Solar Windows – A Step Towards Carbon Neutral Buildings
Investigators: Patrick, David L.
Institution: Western Washington University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Phase: II
Project Period: October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2017
Project Amount: $75,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet - Phase 2 (2015) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainability , P3 Awards , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment


The goal of this project is to develop a new window for smart, energy‐efficient buildings aiming to dramatically reduce their net power consumption. The proposed window combines a new transparent solar concentrator technology for producing power, with the capability to automatically open and close, while communicating with integrated building HVAC management to achieve both power production, and reduced HVAC power consumption.


The project will combine fundamental and applied research to improve the efficiency of the concentrator pane, energy conversion, and operation. A team of students from several disciplines will work in parallel on different aspects of the project under the guidance of two primary and several secondary faculty mentors. The team will also receive help and guidance from industry experts.

Expected Results:

We will demonstrate an operational smart solar window able to generate all of its own power, collect and use information from an array of sensors, communicate with building HVAC systems, and participate in coordinated decision making to improve overall building efficiency. We will develop business and marketing plans, and perform full life‐cycle and environmental impact assessments. We will also have an outreach program to raise awareness of solar energy and green building practices.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 3 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Solar window, solar energy, green buildings;

Relevant Websites:

P3 Phase 1: Smart Solar Windows – A Step Towards Carbon Neutral Buildings

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2016 Progress Report
  • Final Report

  • P3 Phase I:

    Smart Solar Windows – A Step Towards Carbon Neutral Buildings  | Final Report