Observatorio de I+D+i UPM

Go Back | Technology Solutions

INTELLIGLASS. The building as your energy source

More info

[IntelliGlass]Commercial_Sheet_UPM_EN(Innovatech) PDF

Integrable transparent glazing facades to capture thermal energy and electricity through a water chamber and a photovoltaic layer

IntelliGlass glazings are products that can be used in the construction of glass buildings to reduce building energy demand and improve comfort. IntelliGlass technology is the result of 10 years of research by a team from the School of Aeronautical Engineering, Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM). Currently, there is a 150 m2 curtain wall facing west at the University of Castilla La Mancha (Cuenca) where the advantage over conventional glazing lies in capturing thermal energy for the building's HVAC system. These glazing can also be used as interior partitions acting as cold or hot radiating surfaces. This is the case of a Multipurpose Building in Madarcos Endowment, Madrid.

Technology Solution

Building, energy efficiency, materials, glazingIntelliGlass is a technology that gives conventional glazing the ability to capture heat and electricity through a water chamber and a photovoltaic layer. The function of the water chamber is twofold: (i) on one hand, it prevents overheating glass building from infrared energy coming  from the sun, and (ii) on the other hand, the energy is transported through a closed system of circulation water and a storage tank for comprehensive HVAC building. The role of the transparent photovoltaic film is to produce electricity for the consumption of the building or grid injection. So, this envelope solves three needs: the constructive one, the thermal energy associated to climatization  and  electricity associated to nocturnal lighting  and/or electrical machines.


“The  IntelliGlass glazing system transforms energy consumer buildings  in producer buildings maintaining the aesthetics of  glass”

Market demands

  • Energy
    • Public buildings and offices. There is a need to implement HVAC systems that reduce energy consumption and increase the comfort level inside buildings.
    • Residential buildings. According to Eurostat, the price of electrical energy in Spain has increased by 60% in the last 10 years, so there is a clear need to reduce energy consumption in buildings maintaining the  current trends in aesthetics.
  • Environment
    • Need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
    • The building energy certification is now a necessity. To obtain certified LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) seal is necessary for both the building's HVAC systems and the  isolation of the building envelope.
    • Horizon 2020. The European Commission has marked as milestones: (i) 20% reduction in energy consumption, (ii) production of 20% of the energy of a country through for Renewable Energy Sources and (iii) reduction of 20 % of emissions of greenhouse gases.
Market potential

  • The market for glass curtain walls has increased substantially  in recent years, from $ 12 billion in 2005 to $ 25 billion in 2012 [Synovate Report].
  • Considering the target countries, the United States accounts for 25% of the market with nearly $ 6 billion, followed by China with $ 6 billion and Europe with 5.7 billion. The remaining countries account for $ 7 billion.
  • According to the segmentation by type of building, office buildings represent a market of almost 16 billion dollars.
  • Considering the segmentation by product, unitized curtain wall represents $ 13 billion, followed by classical curtain walls rises to a volume of $ 6 billion, and $ 5 billion  to other singular solutions for curtain walls. 
Competitive advantages

  • Building, energy efficiency, materials, glazingThermal energy harvesting and production of electricity in the building envelope.
  • Hot water for use both in cold facades of the building and HVAC systems.
  • Increased thermal comfort inside the building associated to the removal of infrared radiation absorbed in the water chamber.
  • Increased insulation of the envelope associated to the mass of the water chamber.
  • Natural lighting associated to the transparency of the  IntelliGlass  glazing system.

Building, energy efficiency, materials, glazing



“The need to save energy in glazing buildings is essential with the shortage of energy resources and the rising cost of energy. The regenerative buildings are currently on demand” 




  • Universidad de Castilla La Mancha, Cuenca.
  • Edificio Dotacional Polivalente, Madarcos.
  • Edificio Residencial. Carcaixent, Valencia.
  • Dpto. Matemática Aplicada Aeronáuticos, UPM.

  • Patent granted in Spain ES2304871 
  • Patent granted in USA US8341894B2
  • European patent via EPO EP2123856
Development stage

  • Concept
  • R&D
  • Lab-Prototype
  • Industrial Prototype
  • Production

IntelliGlass contact (spin-off)

Juan A. Hernández, Fernando del Ama,

Miguel Hermanns, César Hernández

e: info@intelliglass.es

w: www.intelliglass.com

UPM contact

Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Area

Centre of Support for Technological Innovation – UPM 

e: innovacion.tecnologica@upm.es 

S2i 2021 Observatorio de investigación @ UPM con la colaboración del Consejo Social UPM
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNCIDE 2011 (OTR-2011-0236)
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNPACTO (IPT-020000-2010-22)