Modern houses, traditional needs
Modern homes give innovative solutions to problems that have always existed, though we are only just recently started to seriously worry. We are talking about fighting energy consumption, reducing CO2 emissions, energy autonomy, and reducing polluting building materials. Living in a modern home means getting aware of the problems that are changing the world, and investing in your own health and social-economic well-being.
The alliance with the sun in modern homes.
For the sake of our great-grandchildren, in the space of 5 billion years the sun will become a red giant, encompassing all that surrounds it, including our beloved Earth.
But do not despair !! The sun will still be our main ally for a long time to get the most out of our lives on Earth, in every sense.
The recent discoveries in the photovoltaic sector are transforming houses into a real energy production unit. For example, consider all the inventions of Building-Integrated Photovoltaic meaning the photovoltaic systems integrated into the housing structure.
In 2014, the State University of Michigan developed a special material, the transparent luminescent solar concentrator (TLSC), absorbing the invisible sunlight wavelengths in our eyes thanks to specially developed organic molecules, reflecting on the inner edge of the window, where photovoltaic fiber strings are ready to absorb the energy. It is a technology that could be used for smartphone screens, but only to supplement its charge, as it needs large surfaces to generate enough energy.
In Italy, in 2016, the Glass to Power project of the Bicocca University was established, where the windows are built with plastic sheets in which special nanoparticles are incorporated, which capture and concentrate the sunlight, transforming common windows into semi-transparent solar panels capable to meet the energy needs of a building (Zero-Energy Buildings). Similarly to PowerWindow patent by the Dutch start-up Physee.
But why limit yourself to the windows? Another industry in the field of Building-Integrated Photovoltaic is in fact the one regarding the productionvof roof tiles, now guarded by several manufacturers. Here again we mention some of them: Tesla Solar Roof (no need for presentations), and a leading producer, Tegola Canadese, who has developed its technology on Tegosolar, a real photovoltaic tile that uses amorphous silicon technology thin film with triple junction, making the tile flexible and lightweight.
We also talk about organic semiconductors. The University of Sheffield has developed a spray paint that absorbs light and is applicable to any surface, making it a source of energy production.
The interesting thing is that in this research phase they managed to use a mineral, the perovskite, which could cut the cost of producing conventional photovoltaic cells, and raise its conversion efficiency, at present 25%. In fact, the result of still developing painting is already at 20%.