Renewable energy experts from the University of Exeter in England have developed a glass block with built-in solar cells. The idea is that with the spread of technology, it is possible to build a house or a whole building's facade using blocks that generate energy.
The product has been named Solar Squared, tests done at the university have shown that they guarantee thermal insulation and allow natural light to enter the building.
It is estimated that buildings consume more than 40% of the electricity produced worldwide, this technology would allow the production of electricity at the site of use. Researchers guarantee that another advantage is that the new solar blocks can be used in new projects or in residential remodeling.
The Exeter team has created a startup company, The Build Solar, to better develop the product. The company is now seeking investors to bring into the market in 2018.
Dr. Hasan Baig, founder of Build Solar and a researcher at the Institute for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Exeter, explains in an article on the university website that the blocks invented by the group have better thermal insulation than traditional glass blocks, besides supplying energy to the building.
"It is now clear that the world is moving towards a distributed energy system, of which an increasing proportion is renewable. This, along with switching to electric vehicles, means that there are substantial opportunities for new ways of generating electricity at the point of use" says co-inventor Jim Williams in the same document released by the university.
News via: Gazeta do Povo - HAUS.