Glass blocks with integrated solar cells

Researchers at the University of Exeter in England designed blocks of glass with small built-in solar cells. Certain blocks which, in addition to allowing light to pass through, generate renewable energy.

Called Solar Squared, in addition to providing thermal insulation (a problem in common glass blocks), they allow natural light to enter buildings. They have been manufactured with the necessary technology to ensure maximum capture of solar energy.

Another advantage is that these basic elements can be incorporated into both new construction and renovations.

Modular design is fully scalable and allows for seamless architectural integration“, Say the researchers. “The simplified nature of the technology allows for the incorporation of conventional building materials, which means there are many applications.

The biggest difficulty so far has been the price. Prof. Dr. Hasan Baig points out that more than comparing them with conventional solar panels, it is necessary to add the energy savings generated by the product, beyond the value of the block itself as a material. of construction.

The blocks are in the testing phase and the Exeter team is awaiting a patent for this technology.