Powering The Smart Cities Of The Future With The Glass On Skyscrapers (Off Grid Energy Independence. Europe 2018)

Mr Hunter McDaniel PhD, Founder and CEO
UbiQD, Inc
United States


Europe 2018 Audio Presentation - UbiQD*
Europe 2018 Video Presentation - UbiQD*

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Presentation Summary

One major barrier to the penetration of solar energy in urban markets, where electricity demand (and price) is high, is the lack of solar real estate - an area to install PV. Tall buildings utilize large amounts of electricity but lack enough rooftop space or other nearby areas to mount solar panels. UbiQD is developing building-integrated sunlight harvesting windows utilizing laminated glass luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs). By incorporating high-performance, NIR-emitting quantum dots into the polymer interlayer between two sheets of low-iron float glass, we recently reported a record optical efficiency of 8.1% in prototypes that transmit ∼44% visible light. After completing prototypes by attaching conventional silicon solar cells along the perimeter of the device, the electrical power conversion efficiency was certified by NREL for our champion device at 29 W/m2. As far as we know, this is the first ever certified performance of a solar window. This "drop-in" LSC solution is particularly attractive because it fits within the existing glazing industry value chain with only modest changes to typical glazing products. Performance modeling predicts >1 GWh annual electricity production for a typical urban skyscraper in most major U.S. cities, enabling significant energy cost savings and potentially "net-zero" buildings.

Speaker Biography (Hunter McDaniel PhD)

Hunter McDaniel, PhD is UbiQD's Founder and CEO. He founded the company in 2014 after completing a postdoc at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Chemistry Division. Under his leadership, the company has raised more than $2M, won more than $2M in grants, grown to more than 10 full time employees, and seen annual revenues more than double each year. McDaniel has a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (2011), has published more than 30 scientific papers and patents, and has been cited more than 1,100 times (h-index = 16). Prior to studying in Illinois, McDaniel earned bachelor's degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara and he considers himself an expert at nanotechnology, optical devices, quantum materials, the solar industry, and bootstrapping a materials startup.

Company Profile (UbiQD, Inc.)

UbiQD, Inc. logo
UbiQD, Inc. is a cleantech nanotechnology company spun out of Los Alamos National Laboratory, M.I.T., and University of Washington that manufactures quantum dots and composite materials in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The company's proprietary high-performance quantum dots are a platform materials technology, and they are particularly attractive due to their bright and strongly size-tunable color of photoluminescence. The "killer application" for this technology is using them to make greenhouses more efficient and power the smart cities of the future by enabling electricity generating solar windows.
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