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First energy-generating solar glass launched

Company eyes 10pc of the global market within a short period

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Khalid Bin Kalban, managing director and CEO of Dubai Investments
Khalid Bin Kalban, managing director and CEO of Dubai Investments

Dubai Investments has launched the first-of-its-kind, coloured solar glass in the world which generates energy on its own.

The launch of the new technology coincided with the announcement of a new entity - Emirates Insolaire, entrusted to introduce the concept across the world.

Emirates Insolaire is a joint venture using Kromatix technology of SwissINSO SA, a Switzerland-based spacialist in the development and application of new solar technologies and products.

The company will produce the solar glass at the Emirates Glass manufacturing facility in the UAE, which has been modified to adapt the new technology.

The breakthrough glass, developed in close collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology [EPFL - Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne], comes in virtually any colour.

Optimised for both photovoltaic modules - which use cells to convert solar radiation into electricity - and solar thermal collectors, the glass provides a mat coloured, architecturally aesthetic appearance to solar panels, preserving more than 90 per cent of efficiency.

Emirates Insolaire is targeting 10 per cent of the global solar glass market within a short period. Over a billion square metres of solar glass - both photovoltaic and thermal - would be installed across the world by 2015, industry estimates reveal.

Khalid Bin Kalban, managing director and CEO of Dubai Investments, said: "We are thrilled with the launch of this revolutionary solar glass technology here, which could literally transform the manner in which we use solar energy for our homes, offices as well as the commercial buildings.

This is a significant paradigm shift in solar glass technology, and we see significant growth opportunities going forward as we accelerate market penetration. The launch of this new technology and product is in line with the green initiatives undertaken by the Dubai government to diversify energy sources and we at Dubai Investments have remained committed to sustainable business practices which led us to the prestigious ISO certification for our DI Headquarters building earlier this year."

He added: "Kromatix is a first-of-its-kind business model not only in the region, but across the entire world. The technology is highly sustainable and is a major innovation for potential application in commercial and residential projects across the region - blessed with natural sunshine all year round.

The solar glass will be launched in two phases - the phase one would involve glass adapted with the new technology while the second phase would encompass the manufacturing of the entire architectural panels. This launch is part of our commitment to adopting the latest technological innovation and making us the pioneers in the glass industry."

The coloured solar glass technology has already generated a lot of interest in the sector, with clients across several markets including Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, USA, Brazil, India, Singapore, Dominican Republic, among others, lined up to receive and certify their panels with the new technology from the manufacturing unit in the UAE.

Rafic Hanbali, chairman and CEO of SwissINSO, said: "We are happy to work with Dubai Investments for the production of the coloured solar glass with KromatixTM technology. This launch provides us with a significant first-mover advantage, a one-stop complete process, especially considering that the market potential for coloured solar panel is huge.

The coloured solar glass technology is expected to become the norm and standards in the construction industry over the next three to five years, particularly when considering the present and expected growth of solar integration into buildings. These buildings, by will or by law, will have to become energetically independent and Kromatix is the only road available today for this integration".

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