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solar power window shutters

(Photo Credit: Chloe Kemp) Stratton Hatfield a college student from Bermuda decided undertake a sustainable design project for his senior year. The island of Bermuda is providing incentives for people who install solar panels, but Stratton wondered why the adoption rate of solar panels on homes was still very low even though there was financial support for people who produce their own clean energy from the sun. After talking to homeowners on the island and collecting feedback, Stratton found out that aesthetics was a big concern and a barrier for people to embrace solar panels into their lives. Orginally Stratton was considering designing a roof mounted solar electric array, but his design teacher pushed him to think outside the box. After analyzing many possible locations for homeowners to install solar panels Stratton, came up with an interesting proposal, solar panels that act as window shutters. Window shutters are common in Bermudian architecture therefore his final design was a top or side hung shutters with thin film solar cells which is angled at the optimal pitch to capture to most sunshine each day. The shutters not only produce energy during the day but act a shading device similar to traditional shutters which help keep the temperature inside the home comfortable. This story is a great example of building integrated solar which are products that can be integrated into a building directly, keeping the traditional look and feel of your home while getting dual use out of building material to reduce installation costs, improve aesthetics, and generate clean electricity at the same time. What do you think about Stratton solar power window shutter design? What are some other examples of building integrated...

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48 watt SolarSave Photovoltaic Tiles

SolarSave Photovoltaic Tiles by OpenEnergy now come in a 48 watt version available in slate gray, brown and terra-cotta the tiles are designed to integrate into a home’s roof while maintaining the natural look of the roof. These easy to install solar roof tiles give homeowners the ability to harvest the sun’s rays to generate electricity without having to give up the aesthetic value of their existing roof. SolarSave Photovoltaic Tiles are a great example of building integrated photovoltaics, which is a term that means to integrate solar cells into building materials commonly found on buildings today. The 48W version of the SolarSave tiles are offered four feet wide and come with a 25 year warranty. SolarSave can handle a snow load of more than 200 pounds per square foot and wind speeds up to 80 miles per hour. Do you think more people will adapt solar photovoltaic technology to power homes because these tiles are more aesthetically appealing? How big of a role do you think aesthetics plays when consumers are considering adding solar power to their...

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Building Integrated photovoltaics is so cool!

Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) is when solar panels are actually designed into the facade of a building. Typically building integrated solar panel systems start off with an architect who draws the solar panels with the perfect orientation right into a building’s initial design. BIPV is completely different than retrofitting a building with solar panel, you can often tell by the aesthetics of a solar panel system in a BIPV building. The solar panels are flushed right into the building. Another example of BIPV is solar roofing shingles, which replace the shingles on your roof with ones that have solar cells embedded into them. MSK, a company which produces BIPV products have windows that produce electricity, how cool is that! A better way to understand BIPV is implementing solar cells into building materials we use in everyday construction. The building in the picture above is the CIS Tower in England and is a very delightful example of how the side of the building is designed to host solar panels which send the electricity produced right into the grid. The CIS building is turning a non-revenue producing asset (the side of a building) into an asset that can produce a return by integrating solar panels into their building design from the ground...

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