In addition to the traditional panels on roofs, solar energy can be generated from an increasing number of surfaces. By using special materials, the facades of buildings and even roads can be used. But the glass that is often used in the built environment has been a stumbling block until now. TNO experts, together with partners within Solliance, have now found a solution to this problem. And it’s attracting international attention.
The prospective spin-off, Bright View Energy, which will bring the new technology onto the market, is in discussion with major interested parties.

Making optimum use of the built environment

In Solliance TNO cooperates with imec, Forschungszentrum Jülich, TU's Eindhoven, Delft and Twente, University Hasselt and RU Groningen and companies such as VDL, DSM, STS, Panasonic and Shell. Solliance specialises in thin film solar cell technology and develops applications to process it in as many materials as possible and thus make optimal use of the built environment to harvest energy.
Because large buildings are increasingly equipped with glass facades, there is much to be gained here.
The problem is that the transparency of glass containing thin film tends to be obstructed to a greater or lesser extent. However, in the Solliance invention, the glass generates energy while still remaining transparent.

Any shape, size or colour

The technology that has now been developed has resulted in a film that can be applied almost invisibly between layers of glass and generates electricity from solar energy in a very cost-effective way. The material is thin, weighs almost nothing and can be manufactured in any shape, size and degree of transparency. This makes it easy to use in curved glass facades without affecting the appearance of the building. The thin film is also easy to produce and has a very low ecological footprint.

Ongoing perfection

The effectiveness of the product has been demonstrated on a small surface area. In the coming period, the experts will be getting together with a partner to build a demonstrator on a larger scale and to perfect the product along with industrial parties in the value chain (manufacturers of glass, film, construction, energy). Bright View Energy provides the technology to make the film transparent. Integrating the film in the glass offers great opportunities for new business in our country.

TNO is now in talks with national and international companies and welcomes other parties who can play a role in the further development of this innovative product.

If you are interested

please get in touch with us.


Dr Hans Boumans

  • Director Technology Transfer