UbiQD Inc., a New Mexico-based advanced materials company, has installed its electricity-generating windows in three commercial building sites. The buildings, which now feature quantum dot-tinted glass luminescent solar concentrator technology, include a Holiday Inn Express hotel, UbiQD’s headquarters in Los Alamos, N.M., and a collaborative project at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo.
These building pilot installations represent the first real-world tests for UbiQD, and some of the earliest and largest known luminescent concentrator window installations in the world. The trials aim to validate the importance of parameters like window orientation, time of day, seasonality, temperature, and manufacturing and installation methods.
The double pane insulated glass units can be installed in most existing frame constructions, and were made with support from local window manufacturer, GlazTech Industries in Albuquerque, N.M.
In late 2018, UbiQD was awarded a phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which provided $750,000 in funding over two years to scale up. In 2020 and 2021, NSF awarded UbiQD supplemental grants totaling $660,000 for UbiQD’s continued window development, and pilot projects. The company’s solar window program has also received support from NMEDD, U.S. DOE, and Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator IN2 Program, and in late 2020 the company announced the close of a $7M venture financing.
“My partners and I are excited to be at the forefront of energy technology and building-integrated sustainability, and frankly we were lucky to have the opportunity,” says Brian Patrick Martin, co-owner of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Los Alamos. “The window upgrade was part of our recent $2.4 million, Formula Blue renovation and I know our guests will enjoy the solar-powered pancakes for breakfast.”
UbiQD intends to accelerate the deployment of its quantum dot window technology in 2022. Additional window projects are planned in New Mexico, Colorado and Washington State.