Future homes may be built using bricks that convert sunlight into usable energy. Renewable energy experts are developing a groundbreaking new technology that is part of a trend that allows buildings to provide energy for themselves.
The bricks designed for “solar squares” are designed to seamlessly embed new buildings or to refurbish existing buildings, the Daily Mail website reported on Aug. 16.
The research team behind the new bricks wants to bring it to market in 2018.
“Solar Grid” by the University of Exeter, specializing in photovoltaic building integration (BIPV) researchers developed. This brick is similar to an existing glass tiles and can replace traditional bricks to allow sunlight to enter the building.
Each brick contains intelligent optics that focuses sunlight on small solar cells, increasing the total power generation per cell. The resulting electricity can power the building, store it in a battery, or charge an electric vehicle.
The research team at Exeter University is currently looking for investment to conduct a commercial test of the product. The team has set up a start-up company called solar construction company to sell and produce this groundbreaking product.
“BIPV is a growing industry with an annual growth rate of 16 percent,” said Dr. Hassan Bayer, founder of the Solar Construction Company and Institute for Environment and Sustainable Development at the University of Exeter.
“The facts will prove that the establishment of a business that caters to this growing market is beneficial to the UK economy in the long run,” he said.
“We plan to build an integrated, affordable, efficient and attractive solar technology, and this technology has the least impact on the surrounding landscape,” added Dr. Tapas Malik, Chief Scientific Advisor, Solar Energy.
“This is an exciting exploration that will stimulate the imagination of the construction industry when planning infrastructure projects such as new office buildings, public buildings, railway stations and parking lots,” said Malik.
Buildings around the world are believed to consume more than 40 percent of the world’s electricity generation.
Solar construction company’s new technology will achieve local power generation, local use, while the technology seamlessly integrated into the building itself.
Solar construction company’s team believes that, in addition to providing energy for the building, their brick insulation performance than traditional glass tiles better.
The patent-pending technology is currently in the prototype phase, and the research team is fine-tuning the design to test the technology on pilot buildings.
Jim Williams, one of the inventors of the technology, and the commercial department manager at the University of Exeter, said the timing of the technology was very favorable.
“It is now clear that the world is moving towards a distributed energy system, where the proportion of renewable energy is growing,” Williams said.
This is not the first product to combine solar energy with building materials. In May this year, Tesla began selling its highly anticipated PV roof tiles.
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Post time: Jan-06-2018