Clean energy in itself is a reason good enough to be incorporate into our lives. But, if the energy comes in an aesthetically appealing form, then what more can one ask for. The Center for Architecture Science and Ecology has developed a stunning, efficient and affordable solar system. Dubbed the “Dynamic Solar Facade,” the solar system is composed of a glass front with rows of transparent, pyramid-shaped concentrators that track the sun.
CASE’s concentrators magnify the incoming light and trap it in a small photovoltaic cell located in the center of each pyramid. The team claims that this solar system has a 60 to 80 percent efficiency ratio, utilizing not just the sunlight but also making use of the heat generated by the sun that is captured with a heatsink and later used to heat water within the building itself. The system can be easily fitted to an existing building or built into new designs.
As of now, the Dynamic Solar Facade is not available commercially, but a manufacturer has been lined up, and the hope is to bring these cells to market as soon as the manufacturing process is finalized. CASE has installed its first full-scale demonstration project with 64 concentrators in an 8-by-10-foot glass installation at the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, which is scheduled to open in March.