Any housing has enough surfaces that can catch sunlight. Various projects try to use this opportunity – there are already energy-collecting windows and a “solar roof” from Tesla . However, researchers from the University of Exeter went further and developed building blocks, from which you can lay entire walls, capable of capturing the energy of the Sun.
These transparent blocks are called “Solar Squared”. Each of them contains a lot of optical elements that focus the incoming sunlight on a separate solar panel. All panels inside the unit are interconnected, and the blocks, in turn, can be combined into arrays, supplying the collected energy to the home network or the drive.
Most of the incoming light passes directly through the panels, illuminating the interior space of the housing. In this case, the blocks can be toned from the inside to prevent overheating of the air in the rooms. By the way, according to the developers, Solar Squared provide better thermal insulation than their traditional glass counterparts.
Solar Squared technology was developed by Build Solar, which is currently looking for partners for its commercial testing. If it passes successfully, solar blocks can appear on the market within the next year. Their price or conversion efficiency of light is not yet called.