Skyscrapers As Vertical Solar Farms


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Can you imagine having all of the skyscrapers working as solar farms, producing energy for us?!  My  friends and readers, here is a fantastic concept and product, with a bit of human ingenuity and positive thinking, will help to prove that a Midwest location/city (such as Chicago) can also utilize our beautiful sunshine to enable skyscrapers such as Willis Tower to become a soaring vertical solar farm!  Residents of Greater Chicago area are quite familiar with Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), with its 108-story and previous status as the world’s tallest building  from 1974-1998.

Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) was world’s tallest building from 1974-1998, is poised to become nation’s first vertical solar farm! (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

With the help from people at Pythagoras Solar, a clever window technology/design HD-PVGUS (high-density phtotovoltaic glass unit) is being piloted, using prisms to collect direct sunlight, by having a thin layer of monocrystalline silicon solar cells sandwiched horizontally between two layers of glass to form an individual tile, which acts as a cell.  An internal plastic reflective prism directs angled (direct) sunlight onto the solar cells while allowing diffuse daylight and horizontal (less intense) sunlight through.  The end result is that you will have an attractive view out the window,

Pilot project on South side of the 56th floor of Willis Tower, with an attractive view out of the window, without the glare or heating, while producing electricity on par with rooftop panels (according to Pythagoras Solar). (Source: Pythagoras Solar).

without the glare or heating, while having panel producing electricity on par with rooftop panels (claimed by Pythagoras Solar) .


At the moment, the pilot project will begin on the South side of the 56th floor and could grow up to 2 MW in size, comparable to a 10-acre field of solar panels.  I am curious about both the initial and maintenance costs in the long run for a project such as this.  I am also confident that with time and increased consumer demands in the future, both the initial and maintenance costs will continue to drop.  Then, there will be the possibility of                                                                  one day having  all of the nation’s high-rises                                                                 becoming vertical solar farms.


Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) is poised to become a massive solar electric plant with the installation of a pilot solar PV glass developed by Pythagoras Solar which preserve daylighting and views while reducing heat gain and producing the same energy as a conventional solar panel. The project could grow up to 2 MW, comparable to a 10 acre field of solar panels, turning Willis Tower into a huge vertical solar farm. (Sosurce: Wikimedia Commons).

For more information about Pythagoras Solar PVGU, please check out this site:


Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,
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