When we talk about energy efficient and green buildings , One of the first things that comes to mind is solar panels and solar cells. For some home owners and business owners aesthetics is an insignificant trade off when it comes to reducing energy bills and carbon emissions. But for a substantial number of people the opposite is true. So the question to my mind has always been how to consolidate energy savings with pleasing aesthetics and to this end i am always keeping a lookout for advances and means allowing the integration of energy efficiency and looking good. Some of the things I came across include the use of colored solar panels, as well as ideas to give unique aesthetic look while using conventional solar panels.
Colored solar panels
With the advancements in technology, Solar panels which were just previously available in black and blue shades are now being manufactured in red, emerald green, forest green, and polished marble. The colored variant of the solar panels are slightly less efficient, typically 1-3% less, a downside which is easily set off by the ability to use solar panels in situations where the older variants were not aesthetically viable.
Solar shingles and photovoltaic slates
Just like normal roof shingles, solar shingles are being introduced that blend in very nicely with the buildings architecture. These consists of a polycrystalline photovoltaic tempered glass module adhered to a metal shingle.
Architects use different types of cladding to create unique and beautiful facades. One of the ways with which we can not just create beauty but also fulfill or atleast cut down the energy useage of the buildings is the solar cladding.