Moving towards a greener and sustainable future, buildings using solar panels instead of being dependent on the grid for power are playing a vital role. The problem with solar panels is the blue/black panels sticking out on the roof and turning into an eyesore. A Swiss private, nonprofit technology company, CSEM addressed the problem and succeeded in making the panels aesthetically pleasing by blending these modules with the rest of the building. They have designed the world’s first white solar modules to do the task.
The reason behind the dark color of the solar panels is that it needs to absorb light as much as possible, as there’s no better sunlight absorber than the black color, hence the photovoltaic cells are kept as dark as possible. The purpose is served but it does leave the architects with some limitations and restrictions.
CSEM elaborated that designers like to play with colors and need panels that come in different colors. They started with white as it is the most common among the buildings. The method they adopted used a plastic layer that covers the panel and acts as a scattering filter, which reflects all visible light, but lets the infrared rays in, which are then used by the panel to generate electricity. According to CSEM, this layer method can be applied to any existing panel, may it be flat or curved and this layer works with any crystalline silicon cell.
The company claims that this technology does have a number of advantages, apart from its appearance. The brighter color of panels helps to keep them at a lower temperature and makes their working more efficient. Moreover, the air conditioning costs are also reduced.
CSEM has the vision of introducing this technology in consumer goods as well, such as laptops, phones and vehicles like cars and buses, as the layer can be employed to give the panels a range of colors. Check out the youtube video below for more details: