In other words, to really keep the renewable industry booming, buyers — from individuals to institutions — will need to be able to purchase solar panels that look good.
There are several exciting projects currently tackling this exact challenge. These initiatives are not only “beautifying” solar panels but making them thinner, more flexible, more transparent and available in different colors— providing aesthetic personalization along with technical efficiency. Here are three notable developments using visual design and technological breakthroughs to make solar panels more inviting for a wider range of surfaces and clients:
SwissINSO, a company dedicated to enhancing the aesthetics and efficiency of photovoltaic and thermal energy technologies, invented the world’s first colored solar panels. Their technology, named Kromatix™, was born from the need for less visually uniform solar panels that could be easily formatted onto a building.
Solar Visuals, a Dutch start-up, collaborated with the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), the architecture firm UNStudio and the BAM construction group to create solar panels that imitate the surfaces of buildings. Known as “mimic design,” this concept is another promising way of using facades to generate energy:
Another Dutch solar expert, designer Marjan van Aubel, will showcase her stained glass-like solar panels at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Integrated into ceilings, these colorful photovoltaic cells are a source of both electricity and light:
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