Last month we had a story about Saint-Gobain Glass’s $80 million investment in Sage Electrochromics. Today, another electrochromic window maker, Soladigm, announced via press release that it had received $30 million in new investments from some heavy hitters, such as GE Energy Financial Services.
Soladigm apparently has been in GE sights for some time, and was recently a winner of the company’s Ecomagination competition in the Solar Heating and Cooling category. Soladigm, headquartered in Milpitas, Calif., calls their product Dynamic Glass, which the company claims to be “the first technology to deliver on the key requirements of performance, scalability and durability with the cost-effectiveness needed for broad adoption.”
Regarding the science behind Soladigm, GigaOM reported in August that the company signed a licensing agreement with the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in 2008. LBL apparently has developed a “switchable mirror” technology based on metal–metal hydride system (e.g., using magnesium as the metal) to reflect external light. But, an LBL researcher reported to GigaOM that Soladigm’s initial approach actually involves tungsten oxide as one of the layers in the glass. Tantalum nitride and antimony may also play a role.
Soladigm had already received a $3.5 million DOE grant and is already producing glass in a small California factory. But, the new investments, leveraged by over $40 million in inducements from the State of Mississippi, will allow the company to produce 60-inch window products. The Mississippi facility is where the company says it will “build and launch high-volume commercial operations and develop sales and marketing channels.” The factory is expected to begin commercial operations in 2012.