Students receive hefty grant for “smart windows” design
A team of students from Western and the University of Washington has won a $75,000 grant for their prototype of a Smart Solar Window.
The project was presented at the Environmental Protection Agency’s P3 People, Prosperity and the Planet competition April 11-12 in Washington DC. The student team constructed a completely transparent window that, like a solar panel, harnesses the energy of the sun and converts it into energy that could be used to power the building around it. According to the team’s project description on the competition’s website, the development and installation of these “smart windows” could reduce a building’s footprint by lowering the amount of power it uses from outside sources to power heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
“The team did a wonderful job, winning their category against other top university teams from around the country with their very impressive prototype and business plan,” Western Professor David Patrick said in an email, who accompanied the team to the competition in DC. “I couldn’t be more proud of the way they represented themselves and Western.”
The event is hosted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and projects are brought before a panel of experts created by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, according to the competition’s website. The EPA considers projects that address water, energy, agriculture, built environment, and materials and chemicals.