National

Mar 4, 2010 10:28 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Solar energy with jewel-like curtains on windows

A research consortium that pairs a New York college and an international architecture firm wants to turn office windows into solar power generators.

The Center for Architecture Science and Ecology has designed facades of grids of clear pyramids help focus the sun's rays to generate energy. It would essentially make buildings look as if they were draped in giant jeweled curtains.

A prototype gets a real-world tryout after the opening Friday of an eco-friendly research building in Syracuse. Researchers at the center call it a step toward exploiting the huge but largely untapped "green" resource of building exteriors.

The center is a research collaboration between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy and the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

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