It is high time to place solar panels not only on the roofs of buildings, but also on the walls - especially where there are no windows and other important structures. But this venture itself is not very profitable, so the SOLAR.shell project was launched in Germany. His task is to develop a new type of facades, with already integrated or quickly mounted solar panels, which can be used as widely as possible.
A prototype of such a facade has already been created on the basis of technology from the Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics, with the participation of scientists from the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences and Dresden University of Technology. Two innovative solutions are used here: multi-inclined sections under the panels and a new material called carbon concrete. Both can be used separately, but the combination provides maximum effect.
Instead of installing some kind of panel turning mechanism on the facade to follow the sun, German engineers simply calculated several optimal positions. If you place panels in them, then during the daylight hours the total energy collection will be 50% higher than when using stationary elements. Yes, it is slightly lower than that of active rotary systems, but the whole structure is many times simpler and lighter, it does not need to be serviced. In addition, the arrangement of the panels at different angles is also an architectural, decorative element.
Carbon concrete is a new version of the usual reinforced concrete, in which carbon fibers and tubes are used instead of metal reinforcement. The material is poorly suited for massive structures, such as building foundations or bunker walls, but ideal for lightweight structures. It was developed specifically for facades, since it allows already during casting to form niches for installing solar panels and related equipment. And the strength characteristics of carbon concrete make it possible to create facades of arbitrary shape from it, which is very important for the appearance of cities of the future.