Houses of the future will be able to be built with structural systems that convert the rays of sunlight into usable energy.
Scientists working on renewable energy sources are developing a revolutionary new technology that is a continuation of the effort to construct buildings that will generate the energy needed for their operations themselves.
Solar Squared glass blocks are designed to be able to be installed in either new builds or renovations of old buildings and will be on the market in 2018 according to the University of Exeter research team.
Solar Squared glass blocks are similar to traditional glass blocks, which replace normal bricks in order to allow sunlight to pass through buildings. Each Solar Squared glass block uses “smart” optical technology to concentrate incoming solar radiation into small solar cells, amplifying the total energy produced by each cell. The generated electricity can be used to power the building, for storage in batteries or to charge electric vehicles.
Given that buildings currently consume more than 40% of the electricity generated around the world, Solar Squared technology can have a significant impact on reducing this amount at a relatively low cost.