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Product Design
Published: 10 Nov 2017

Glass Building Blocks Generate Solar Energy

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Build Solar

Solar Squared is a glass block with in-built solar cells that allow a building to generate electricity from within its own architecture.

Solar Squared was created initially at the University of Exeter in the UK as part of a research project looking into new applications for solar technology. However, recognising its potential for residential and commercial use, Dr. Hasan Baig – one of the university professors overseeing the project – decided to found start-up company Build Solar to further develop the product’s technology.

Solar Squared blocks feature intelligent optics that focus incoming solar radiation into multiple small cells, storing it before turning it into energy for the building. By integrating solar technology into the structural architecture, Solar Squared has the potential to transform an entire building or façade into a mechanism for generating solar energy. The blocks have the same dimensions as standard architectural glass blocks, allowing Solar Squared to easily replace existing building material in renovations as well as new projects.

According to research conducted by the Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative, part of the United Nations Environment Programme, buildings consume 40% of the total electricity produced worldwide. The use of Solar Squared blocks would enable a building to become self-sufficient by creating its own electricity on-site, separating itself from main power lines and reducing overall costs.

Read Luxury Design Recalibrated for more on how consumers are seeking self-supporting lifestyles and off-grid abodes to escape from an uncertain exterior. For more on the brands creating closed-loop office spaces to reduce consumption and attract eco-conscious employees, see Blueprint for a Better Workplace.

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