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.
Chinese PV maker unveils semitranslucent photovoltaics that look like mirrors, windows, and skylights.
Thin-film solar company HelioVolt signs on Architectural Glass & Aluminum to build curtain walls, or large windows, with integrated solar cells.
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.