The building's south wall is partially comprised of a thin film of solar cells, or "building integrated photovoltaics" (BIPVs), placed within vertical glass segments called "fins". The surface of the BIPV glass fins that face south use the energy from the sun to generate electricity. This electricity is then fed to city's energy grid. This technology will produce enough electricity to light all 12,400 square feet of open and private offices along the perimeter of levels 2-5 throughout the year.
The innovation in technology is a collaboration of UW Solar students, the UW Biology Department, Perkins+Will (architect), Skanska (contractor), AEI (electrical designer), and VECA (electrical subcontractor).
The amount of electricity generated by the BIPV fins. This is equal to the amount of electricity required for lighting all of the open and private offices along the perimeter of levels 2-5.
Total area of offices with lighting offset by BIPV fins
Total area of fins.
Total number of BIPV fins.
Number of BIPV fins stacked in a vertical orientation
Number of BIPV fins stacked to create a module
Transparency of BIPV fins. Options of transparency are 10%, 20%, and 30% with 10% producing the most electricity and solar heat gain reduction.
Solar cells that are more effective than crystalline silicone in diffuse light conditions such as overcast skies, and are less obstructive to views. The thin solar film is encapsulated within 2 pieces of tempered glass and can easily be integrated into the architectural design.
Custom Curtainwall Mullion
The BIPV fins are supported within a Kawneer curtainwall vertical mullion custom designed to support the glass, encapsulate the junction box electrical connection, and provide a cap on the interior that can be snapped off for maintaining electrical conduit running vertically up to the ceiling.