Photovoltaic embedded glass art debuts in San Jose
With the opening of the Pearl Avenue Branch Library in San Jose, the city has became the first municipality in the United States to install permanent public art that combines photovoltaic cells and art glass in an architectural application, according to a Dec. 15 release from the city of San Jose.
Artist Lynn Goodpasture’s pioneering public art piece, entitled Solar Illumination I: Evolution of Language, commissioned through the San Jose Public Art Program, integrates green technology and art demonstrating another aspect of the San Jose Green Vision.
The artist collaborated with Peters Glass Studios to create an artwork that incorporates glass-embedded photovoltaic cell technology that in turn powers a suspended glass LED-illuminated lamp, according to the release.
Peters Glass Studios combined building integrated photovoltaics with custom art glass design. Peters translated the artist’s design directly onto float glass by airbrushing a combination of transparent, translucent and opaque vitreous enamels in multiple layers. The photovoltaic glass is developed by laminating PV cells within two layers of tempered float glass. The art glass and the laminated photovoltaic glass are then combined into an insulated glass unit for installation on site, according to the release.
The artwork, includes four art glass windows embedded with PV cells. The artwork's imagery explores the evolution of alphabets as the foundation of the written word. Each window contains characters in scripts that are the basis for written Latin, Russian, Vietnamese and numerous Indian languages. ‘We are all one’ is engraved repeatedly on the lamp in cuneiform. As this installation explores cultural differences in the windows, the color-changing lamp bridges those distinctions by celebrating what we share. Goodpasture explains that Solar Illumination I: Evolution of Language links the past with the future by exploring the first writings of humankind, at the same time the art incorporates the newest applications of solar and LED technologies, according to the release.
The 200-watt solar lamp system is a 24-Vdc system with 12-Vdc LED lamp and battery load. The conversion from 24-Vdc PV window supply voltage to 12-Vdc battery and load voltage is performed by the 360-watt Max Power Point Tracking charge controller. The system components include four solar windows in the building’s SW corner that convert sunlight to 24-Vdc electricity. The windows comprise two 100-Wp DC source circuits with two windows per circuit, according to the release.