installing solar power systems in their homes, but in the end decided against
it because of the aesthetic impact it will have.
Luckily, the developments in solar
cell technology over the last couple of decades have resulted in various solar
panel design advances. They can now be made to blend into their environment or
even become part of a buildings structure.
SolTech is a Swedish based company
that specialises in solar thermal light absorption technology. They have
developed glass roof tiles that combine aesthetic beauty, practicality and
These glass tiles are placed on
liquid based absorber modules and are interconnected to create an integrated
solar collector system. In short, it creates a very large solar panel.
Energy that is collected from the sun is stored in
an accumulator tank. This tank is connected to the central heating system and
when there is not enough sunlight to provide energy directly to the central
heating system energy is drawn from the tank.
Although homes and buildings with
central heating systems are mostly found in the colder Northern Hemisphere, the
usage of aesthetically pleasing solar panels that are used as building
materials is a refreshing development.
Invisible Solar Panels
The non-profit Swiss company, SCEM,
has developed a way for architects to blend solar panels into a building or
environments’ ‘skin’. Thereby rendering them near invisible.
For the longest time architects
have been asked to create white solar panels. Obviously this is not the best
colour for solar panels as white reflects the sun’s rays. Black and dark blue,
the traditional colours, at least absorb the rays.
The solution that SCEM came up with
was to create solar cells that absorb infrared solar energy. They then combine
them with a special filter that scatter the rays.
As a result of this development, it
has made it possible for silicon based solar technologies to be moulded into
solar panels that can blend into the environment and basically become invisible.
Dutch designer, Marjan van Auelll, have found a way around ugly solar panels by creating “Current Window”, a modernised version of stained glass.
These windows not only add aesthetic value to your house, they also generate electricity that can
The stained glass is made from “dyesensitised solar cells”,
a technology that was developed back in 1988.
They generate electrical current by making using of the colours
properties in much the same way as photosynthesis takes place in plants.
The window ledge has integrated USB ports that allows
for devices to be plugged in so they can charge.
As with glass solar panels, the larger the surface that is exposed to the sun,
the larger the
electricity that will be produced. Therefore office buildings, schools and even
churches will be able to draw great advantage of this development.
If you are interested in solar power and are considering installing a solar power system, be sure to contact us here.