Solar buildings

Solar cells are becoming even more efficient:

Our architects are always on the look-out for materials and systems that will improve the spaces we design and increase the efficiency of the building industry.

Solar power is “peaking right now, smashing through cost barriers that previously held the technology back, to the extent that in some parts of the world, surplus energy from sunlight is being given away for free. If we’re ever going to unlock the true potential of solar, we need to think beyond today’s large rooftop solar panels, and examine what smaller, lightweight, and even wearable solar cells could do for us.”

“Our photo-voltaic is about 1 [micrometer] thick,” said engineer Jongho Lee from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology.

This extreme thinness means one day we will be able to introduce amazingly lightweight solar cells into the building industry, completely negating the dead-weight that normal solar cells place on structures.

The construction industry is typically very conservative: building tends to be among the last industries to try something new. As Architects, we must make a conscious effort to keep up with the technologies of our time.

Sources: AIP Publishing – 24 June 2016 and EurekAlert  – 20 June 2016

Read more at AIP Scitation here and EurekAlert here

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