Revolutionary energy producing cladding material
During this years’ Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven the launch of the company Solar Visuals has taken place. This startup, founded by ECN part of TNO, printing specialist TS Visuals and arch tech company UNSense, introduces a revolutionary new cladding material that combines high production of solar energy with visual design aesthetics. The application of this cladding material in the façades and surfaces of buildings creates opportunities for energy production in the built environment on a large scale. With this technology buildings in the future will become batteries that provide the energy needed for their own use and more. The innovative combination of full colour print and high efficiency photovoltaic material make the Solar Visuals panels smart, efficient and visually attractive at once.
Making cities and buildings climate neutral by 2030
Solar Visuals fills a gap in the existing market of traditional solar panels. With the Paris Climate Agreement, the building industry will be confronted with huge challenges: in order to create a built environment that is energy neutral by 2030, 7 million houses and 1 million buildings in the Netherlands will need to be renovated and equipped with solar panels so that they can provide their own energy. This will have a huge visual impact on the built environment and demands new products and building integrated solutions like Solar Visuals. Check the products and possibilities at www.solarvisuals.nl
Smart, efficient and highly aesthetic
By providing a new surface finish and appearance, Dutch Solar Design changes PV modules from sustainable, yet somewhat disruptive elements, into a recognisable construction material with endless possibilities – capable of adding design value to the appearance of buildings.
“Solar Visuals is a flexible, highly aesthetic, efficient and affordable cladding material that enables architects, engineers and developers to apply solar panels on a much larger scale”, Thijs Sepers of Solar Visuals Business Development says.
The Solar Visuals-panel is a combination of photovoltaic material that produces solar energy an integrated full-colour print that can be designed by the client. John van Roosmalen (Research & Technology, Solar Visuals) says: “The panels are available in different sizes, colours and prints. We continuously look for the right strategic balance between maximum energy production and nice visual design quality.”
DSD PV modules have, like normal PV modules, a layered build-up structure. The special design layer is integrated to assure high durablity. DSP-PV makes use of novel back-contact solar cells but also conventional H-pattern solar cells can be used. The back panel is specially designed for façade integration. To maintain energy output, a patented dot printing software technology was created by UNStudio’s research platform and partner companies. This technology is capable of translating images into a setup of dots of different coverage ratios, controlling colour, contrast, brightness and a degree of randomness in the final effect. Based on the principle of rasterisation, the dot pattern plays with the perception of the human eye: zooming in, one can discern the separate dots, zooming out, the dots are perceived as one amalgamated image. This revolutionary dot pattern technique enables the optimisation of energy output without compromising creative freedom and artistic expression.
UNStudio has supported UNSense in developing architectural strategies to provide a range of design choices, not only for use in their own projects, but also for other architects. A predefined toolbox offering standardised designs and standardised rasterisation coverages is available to apply these design principles. Pilot projects have been initiated and will be developed in the coming months.