Skyscrapers shape our city skylines. All around the world, iconic cityscapes are outlined through the enormity of their buildings. But skyscrapers also contribute massive amounts to carbon emissions and urban air pollution,

Because skyscrapers usually take their power from the tradition fuel grid, they play a significant role in polluting the air in major metropolises. However, there is another way. By applying organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells within these buildings, there is major potential to create sustainable energy and clean up the air quality.

NextGen Nano is solving the problems caused by skyscraper construction 

According to the United Nations, the global urban population will reach around 6.3 billion by 2050. Currently, the number stands at 3.6 billion. More people are moving to urban centres and this will only continue over the next few decades, particularly as coastal and rural regions become less tenable due to climate change.

And as more people move to cities, there is going to be a sharp increase in building upwards. Skyscrapers are a vital way to provide enough living and workspace in cities. They’re designed and constructed to house large numbers of people and, as such, place an enormous demand on energy sources.

One study shows that high-rise offices need at least twice as much electricity per sq m of floor space compared with low-rise buildings. In addition, gas heating in skyscrapers uses 40% more energy than in standard buildings. These energy needs essentially double carbon emissions.

Whether these buildings are used for residential, commercial or mixed purposes, the issues surrounding energy are universal. High-rise buildings aren’t energy efficient and use much more than others to maintain temperature. When it’s cold, it’s inevitable that skyscrapers leach out heat. And when it’s hot in summer, they need air conditioning. Cooling these buildings during the summer creates around 60% more emissions than offices that can regulate temperatures through natural ventilation.

Innovative organic PV solar cells generate energy and lower emissions

At NextGen Nano, we’ve come up with an innovative solution to these problems that incorporates building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs) during the construction phase. By replacing some traditional building materials used in roofs, skylights and facades with BIPVs, electricity can be generated.

Integrating BIPVs reduces both labour costs and the demand for traditional constriction materials and they produce energy. This makes them the ideal solution for the constantly increasing emissions associated with building skyscrapers and high-rise buildings in urban centres.

There are four BIPV product categories:

  • Double glass solar panels incorporating internal square cells.
  • Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS)-based cells that can be mounted directly onto the building envelope substrate or on flexible modules laminated to the building envelop element.
  • Amorphous crystalline silicon based thin film solar photovoltaic modules that can be light, hollow and different colours and used for transparent skylights or as a glass curtain wall.
  • Crystalline silicon based solar panels to generate power on rooftops or at ground level.

While BIPVs do not use carbon fuels in the generation of energy, many of the products are manufactured using materials that damage the environment. The exception is panels that are constructed using organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells, which is what we produce at NextGen Nano.

Cutting-edge nano technology will change the game for construction sector

We’ve overcome various challenges presented by OPVs. For example, until pretty recently OPVs couldn’t offer the same level of power efficiency as other BIPVs. However, the innovative breakthroughs we’ve achieved using nanotechnology have successfully increased the efficiency of OPVs.

That’s why we’re leading the way in next-gen solar power. By integrating advanced nanotechnology, we’re developing flexible organic solar cells that are energy efficient and offer the potential to decentralise the energy industry on a massive scale.

Compared with 3rd gen solar technologies, our PolyPower range shows improved efficiency. Made using only environmentally sound organic materials, the panels are affordable, dynamic and lightweight. The nano level of development allows for truly impressive transparency and flexibility. The semi-transparent thin layer can be applied to the surface of windows on skyscrapers. When in position, the cells will generate light and power and control the temperature of the building.

NextGen Nano is on the cusp of a major moment in high-rise construction and engineering. This tech allows skyscrapers to be aesthetically stunning and environmentally sustainable.

About NextGen Nano Director of Operations Duncan Clark

Duncan Clark has a wide range of business interests, although these extend primarily across the clean technology and clean energy sectors. He brings a wealth of experience to his role of Director of Operations at NextGen Nano, which will help open the door to decentralised energy markets around the world.

How NextGen Nano Will Help Revolutionise the Future of Renewable Energy

Under the directorship of Duncan Clark, NextGen Nano have developed proprietary tech known as PolyPower. PolyPower is a ground-breaking technology that will transform the energy market and pave the way for a much more decentralised one. These decentralised energy uses can be utilised for a variety of applications, including wearable electronics, military head ware, drones, planes, electric vehicles, next generation yachting and much more.

Duncan Clark works closely with the team at NextGen Nano who focus on using nanotechnology to create alternative energy sources. Using biopolymers, this breakthrough technology replaces existing energy solutions to develop solar cells that produce efficient energy. This allows transparent, strong cells to be applied to all manner of flexible surfaces, resulting in a durable and cost-effective energy solution.