Dozens of Western Washington University students attended a seminar held in honor of Western’s Smart Solar Window Team’s recent victory at the national EPA P3 competition, in which their smart solar window prototype took first place and won the team a $75,000 grant.
The eight team members each gave a short presentation on what their role in the team was and explained how their invention worked.
“In the last 18 months of working on this, our team has created the very first three working prototypes in the world using this type of technology, with luminescent solar concentrators to create electricity,” said team member and electronics and engineering major Jim Kintzele.
Western student and project manager James Mayther also explained a study the team did using the UBS Building in New York.
“If a building like this can be designed with cross ventilation in mind, it could reduce that building’s footprint and its electricity bill by $960,000 annually,” he said. “You could have just a two year break-even point from an initial investment.”
To prove that the prototype worked, Professor Ed Love, a faculty advisor to the team, breathed on the windowpane of the prototype, which promptly began to close after sensing the condensation on it.
Professor Love then spoke about how proud he was of the team and what they had accomplished.
“The level of commitment they have shown in every stage of this thing has been remarkable. They have earned every bit of success,” he said. “There is nothing more satisfying than to see a team that is well supported wrestle with these problems, put in the effort and the time, and come out with this kind of success.”
The WWU Smart Solar Window team says that they have chosen to use the $75,000 they won at the EPA P3 contest to further research, developed and refine their product.