Solar Panels Redundant?
Buildings could soon be able to convert the sun's energy into electricity without the need for solar panels, thanks to innovative new technology.
Net Zero Energy Buildings
Renewable Energy experts from the University of Exeter are developing a pioneering new technique that could accelerate the widespread introduction of
net-zero energy buildings through the latest Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV). These products, similar to the solar tile created by Tesla,
can become a part of a building's architecture to generate electricity.
Innovative Glass Block
The team have created an innovative glass block, which can be incorporated into the fabric of a building and is designed to collect solar energy and
convert it to electricity. It is thought that buildings consume more than forty percent of the electricity produced across the globe. This new technology
would allow electricity to be produced at the site of use, whilst being seamlessly integrated into the building.
The blocks, called Solar Squared, are designed to fit seamlessly into either new buildings, or as part of renovations in existing properties.
They are similar to existing glass blocks by allowing daylight to resonate around a property by replacing traditional bricks and mortar with transparent
Crucially, however, the Solar Squared blocks have intelligent optics that focus the incoming solar radiation onto small solar cells, enhancing the overall
energy generated by each solar cell. The electricity generated will then be available to power the building, be stored or used to charge electric vehicles.
‘Build Solar’ - Startup
The Exeter team, which has created a start-up company Build Solar to market and produce the pioneering product, is now looking to encourage investment to
carry out commercial testing of the product, and then aims to take it to market during 2018.
16% Annual Growth Rate
Dr Hasan Baig, founder of Build Solar and Research Fellow from the University of Exeter's Environment and Sustainability Institute said:
"BIPV is a growing industry with a 16% annual growth rate. Setting up a company, which can cater to this growing market shall prove beneficial for the UK economy in the long term
Low Impact Target
We are aiming to build integrated, affordable, efficient and attractive solar technologies, which have the smallest impact on the local landscape.
It's an exciting venture and one that should capture the imagination of the construction industry, when looking to develop new office blocks and
public buildings or infrastructure projects such as train stations and carparks," said Professor Tapas Mallick, chief scientific advisor for Build Solar.
Better Thermal Insulation
The Build Solar team believe their blocks have better thermal insulation than traditional glass blocks, as well as providing power to the building.
The patent pending technology is at prototype stage and the team are now in the process of fine-tuning their designs in order to test the technology at
Shift to ‘Distributed Energy Generation
Co-inventor and Exeter's research commercialisation manager in Cornwall, Jim Williams, believes that the timing of the technology is favourable.
"It's now clear that the world is moving to a distributed energy system, of which a growing proportion is renewable. This, coupled with the shift to
electric vehicles means that there are substantial opportunities for new ways of generating electricity at the point of use".
Your Partner in Development
Whether you are an architect, builder or private client, we believe working with our teams will help you to provide better ‘Low Energy’
buildings, safer sites, better value for your clients and more readily marketable developments. Our specialist services deliver best value and
protect the interests of land owners, developers, professionals and private individuals seeking to build their dream project. Our off-site construction
systems also reduce the amount of material that gets wasted on site, helping to avoid land fill, hazardous waste separation and handling, They also deliver
better value for you and your customers.
PLEASE CONTACT US FOR AN INFORMAL DISCUSSION AS TO HOW WE MIGHT WORK TOGETHER
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