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Given their unobtrusive nature, photovoltaic materials integrated into rooftop material were once touted as the next big thing in solar power. Instead, they're in the doldrums.
Israel-based start-up designs glass facades and skylights that act as insulators and generate electricity with integrated solar cells.
Thin-film solar power companies want to integrate solar cells with buildings, but they still have a way to go.
Flexible thin-film solar modules are designed to be glued to flat commercial rooftops or integrated directly into roofing membrane materials.
Thin-film solar company HelioVolt signs on Architectural Glass & Aluminum to build curtain walls, or large windows, with integrated solar cells.
Chinese PV maker unveils semitranslucent photovoltaics that look like mirrors, windows, and skylights.
Solar company Konarka has signed a deal with window maker Arch to put its transparent solar cells between planes of glass for power-generating windows.
Under real-world conditions solar power is still good, but not quite as rosy as its advocates would like.
Building-integrated photovoltaics won't make your inner architecture critic wince, but you may have to make a trade-off on efficiency.