Photovoltaic systems: the future in the present
What is green has been gradually moving away from just a trend since it is becoming part of the norm in terms of construction. Government and other municipal regulations regarding the matter are more common nowadays. In this light, solar panels and the clean energy their use implies will soon be the rule for modern homes.
Since Tesla launched its line of solar roofs and tiles that combine avantgarde technology with design, everything seems possible. Hundreds of competitors and options have come to the front and now, architects have a market that offers construction materials that turn their ecological dreams into reality.
Tell me where the project is, and I’ll tell you what to use
Currently, the constructors and architects inclined towards including photovoltaic energy know that to choose the appropriate system for their projects, they must inform the manufacturer or supplier about three essential aspects: location, amount of sun exposure, and electrical demands of the project once built. Then, the following steps have to do with the system’s performance and the aesthetics of the same.
Regarding the performance, there are two important options for photovoltaic systems currently in the market: those connected to a network and remote ones. The best part is that each of them targets specific needs, so making the right decision is essential.
• Network systems. Even though they are designed to absorb solar light, they are still connected to an electric grid. Among the advantages they offer are the reduced power consumption (between 60% and 90%) and since they don’t require storage batteries like isolated photovoltaic systems (remote), they end up being more economical. Their disadvantage is that when the public electric network stops working the system is without service.
• Remote systems. They incorporate energy storage in batteries, therefore, they can operate even if there is an interruption in the public network. These are perfect for locations where the electric network doesn’t have reach but tend to be costly since batteries to store solar energy have to be added to the regular components of the system.
A matter of aesthetics
The worries about the aesthetic aspect in relation to the integration of the solar panels into the design of homes and buildings are a thing of the past. The technology currently applied is progressing at an accelerated pace, fact that has been welcomed by homeowners and architects. That way, solar panels are no longer antiesthetic devices on the roofs of homes, on the contrary, now they are design pieces with increasing demand.
Among the most interesting options are solar tiles, which owe their development to the combination of new materials such as amorphous silicon. This material has added an aesthetic touch to solar panels, allowing the creation of designs that look like regular tiles.
Another novelty with aesthetic vision is solar skin. Created in Madrid by designer Daniel Martín Ferrero, these are free form structures that integrate solar panels into the architecture of the home, using photovoltaic laminated glass. The result is a flexible, aesthetic, and functional material capable of adapting to curve surfaces.
In addition to the solar roofs and tiles created by Tesla (read http://inspiringgoodliving.com/solar-roofs-new-thing-green-architecture), the Dutch company ZEP B.V. has developed photovoltaic solar panels integrated into ceramic roof tiles. They not only offer all the advantages of big panels but also additional ones such as an easy installation.
So, what used to be an eccentricity at some point, constitutes the present in terms of construction. In fact, experts foresee that in 10 years most homes will have photovoltaic systems. So, if you know nothing about the subject, we invite you to read about it because solar energy is here to stay.