Pierre-Yves Thoulon, Cofounder & COO of CROSSLUX talks to GineersNow TV during the World Future Energy Summit. Pierre Yves outlined their innovative window solar technology, Photovoltaic façade details and their renewable energy future plans.
About the Leader
Pierre-Yves Thoulon has over 30 years of experience in research and development in international high-tech contexts. Graduated from Ecole Centrale de Paris (one of France’s leading engineering school), Pierre-Yves began his career at Hewlett-Packard where he worked for 16 years as an engineer then as head of an R&D group, both in France and in the US. In 2000, he was hired by the Gemplus/Gemalto group (the world leader in smart cards) as Director of R&D, tending to both hardware and software technologies. Searching for new challenges, he joined successively two startups in computer security (Arkoon Network Security) and massively parallel computing (Kalray) as member of the executive committee, before founding Crosslux together with Marc Ricci in 2011.
With 70% of the world population predicted to live in cities by 2050, and the increasing density of urban landscape, the availability of building-embedded, non-polluting energy sources becomes critical, often reinforced by local regulations or mere environmental considerations. As of today, the only zero-carbon emission, easily deployable technology in such an environment is photovoltaics. Yet, as high-rise buildings become the rule, there is very little space on roof surfaces to install standard panels. Façade areas, on the other hand, grow with floor space. Why not, therefore, turn building envelopes into solar power plants? This, however, requires photovoltaic elements which can replace traditional glass panels, showing similar thermal, mechanical, and optical characteristics. This is what CROSSLUX proposes.
Created in 2011 and based in the South of France, CROSSLUX has developed a CIGS-based photovoltaic glazing whose transparency is adjustable at manufacturing time and whose carbon footprint is among the lowest on the market, to provide buildings with clean embedded renewable energy sources. The electricity produced can be directly used by the building. In sunny areas, we show that the energy generated can fully meet a state-of-the-art building’s basic needs. The break-even point is reached in but a few years (depending on the local climate and cost of electricity), for a product whose lifespan exceeds thirty years.
With complete control over the manufacturing process, CROSSLUX can bring at once significant energy production, unprecedented visual comfort to the building occupant, architectural design capabilities, low cost manufacturing, and very low carbon footprint. As of today, no technology on the market presents such a trade-off between all parameters. CROSSLUX’s technology results from 25 years and USD 120M of R&D investment and is protected by worldwide patents and secret industrial know-how.
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