There’s a new building block in town, and it generates its own clean energy. Researchers from Exeter University developed new glass blocks that are embedded with small solar cells. Not only do the blocks generate energy, but they also provide thermal insulation and allow natural light to enter buildings.
Called Solar Squared, the blocks are embedded during the manufacturing process with an array of optical elements that focus sunlight on tiny solar cells. The blocks are made to ensure maximum solar absorption, even in tricky urban areas.
“The modular design is completely scalable, and allows for seamless architectural integration,” according to an Exeter press release. “The streamlined nature of the technology enables it to be embedded in conventional construction materials, meaning that its applications are myriad.”
Revolutionary glass building blocks generate their own solar energy [Inhabitat]