CHENGDU — A Chinese company has built the country’s largest factory for producing electricity-generating see-through glass, which can be used to turn a whole building into a solar power generator.
Each sheet of the 1.6-meter by 1.2-meter glass, produced by CNBM (Chengdu) Optoelectronic Materials, can generate 260 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, said Jiang Meng, a technology inspector with the company.
Based in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan province, the company’s factory began operation in November and has an annual production capacity of glass veneers that can generate 80 megawatts of electricity.
Jiang said they coat ordinary construction glass with cadmium telluride. The optoelectronic film is as thin as one-hundredth of a hair.
He said the per-unit size of the company’s electricity-generating glass sheet was the largest in the world so far, as those produced by foreign firms were only 0.72 square meters at the largest.
In the factory, a production line 560-meters-long is fully automated, running at full speed to catch up with orders.
The company has received two big overseas orders for an amount of glass with a power generating capacity of 170 megawatts in total. One was ordered by Ford Motor to use it on the exterior walls and roofs of its 159 factories around the globe. The other is for a new-energy project for solar-roof houses in Scotland.
Domestically, solar-windows with a total capacity of generating 63 megawatts of electricity have been ordered for building a highway service station in Chengdu and an economic development zone in Eastern China’s Anhui province.