Solar panels are already integrated into our buildings, and in time their role in the creation of energy-neutral sustainable built environment becomes more and more important. But when it comes to the design of the solar panels, not much can be done – the surface of the solar cells should always be kept original black or blue and completely bare for the maximal performance thus limiting the creativity of architectural designers and making public places looking monotonous and not aesthetically pleasing. “Aesthetics is not a frivolous thing”, says Lianne Polinder, designer at Design Innovation Group. “The façade surfaces in the built environments have enormous potential for sustainable energy, but right now architects don’t use it because there are no solar panel products which they find appealing. If you want to make an impact on your project you need to create a good design – one that is nice to look at. That’s why we believe it is necessary to have aesthetic solar panel solutions for the façade.” To create more appealing designs of solar panels, TNO, UNStudio, Design Innovation Group and other companies formed a consortium in 2017 called Dutch Solar Design and developed a technique allowing to integrate a full colour, durable print into a panel with solar cells.
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