Kromatix colored glass creates a color through interference instead of reflectance using dyes and pigments. Like the famous image of a prism splitting light, it is possible to create color without using any paints, inks, dyes, or pigments. Essentially, this means a higher power for colored PV modules than other color technologies.
Kromatix colored glass: Reflectance vs. interference
Reflectance is light that reflects back from a surface. So, if that surface is ‘colored’, certain wavelengths will reflect to cause the human eye to experience only that color. What is actually happening is that a pigment or dye allows certain waves of light to pass through it and others will reflect back. This means that we are losing light which has the potential to generate more solar energy.
With interference, on the other hand, one can utilize reflected light and manipulate it to create a certain color. This is a far more efficient use of incoming and outgoing light, resulting in higher power ratings.
Kromatix colored glass for photovoltaics (PV) involves the application of highly efficient and environmentally-friendly nanotechnology surface treatments. Kromatix uses no paints or tints. Instead, atomic deposition transforms the solar glass into colored glass. Kromatix technology offers vast new opportunities, which, combined with our customization options, makes it a truly flexible building product for solar façades. Check out our Kromatix colored modules for façade examples.
The Kromatix colors
Kromatix is available in six colors, Grey, Blue, Gold, Terracotta, Bronze, and Green. Kromatix glass is the front glass layer of a solar (PV) panel and is laminated at our factory in Roosendaal. We do not supply only Kromatix glass, however, because the background of the solar panel is crucial to achieving the desired color.
How Kromatix colored glass works
Creating Kromatix glass combines two different surface treatments:
Firstly, low pressure plasma processes deposit a multilayered coating on the inner glass surface. The selected materials are unique in their high solar transmittance, minimal absorption and high durability while maximizing high angular color stability. The color does not fade over time because of a lack of paints or dyes.
Secondly, treating the outer surface of the glass creates a diffused reflection (anti-glare). This treatment also helps to hide the solar components and further enhances the overall aesthetics.
More about color
Light and matter create the colors of nature all around us. In fact, the interaction between light and pigments or dyes create most of the colors we experience. Different surfaces reflect different wavelengths and so create a whole range of colors.
Sometimes, however, color has a purely physical origin. The diffraction and interference of light can create colors, too. Some animal species, such as morpho butterflies for example, get their color from interference.
One major difference between interference colors and reflectance colors is the perception angle. At a basic level, colors created by interference change based on the viewing angle. Colors created based on reflection change far less, if at all.
This is why the color experience of Kromatix changes based on the viewing angle. For example, a golden Kromatix façade may appear grayish yellow from the side. Kromatix colors create their full color experience with direct sunlight.
Using this technique with solar glass creates a good compromise between reflectance and transmittance and results in a high energy colored solar panel.
Kromatix™ technology was developed in Switzerland.