Building Envelopes That Produce Energy

March 3, 2016

Efficiency breakthrough could vastly expand photovoltaic viability.

The buildings of the future could have facades and roofs that generate their own solar power thanks to a groundbreaking development that improves the efficiency of organic photovoltaics by 50%. Compared to conventional silicon solar cells, the organic design can be placed on top of flexible, simple-to-replace sheets that can be attached to roofs or other surfaces.

Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology altered the normal device structure by increasing the electrodes’ energy gap rather than developing new materials. The research, published in the Journal of Applied Physics, shows that the changes increased voltage by 0.2V and raised the solar energy conversion efficiency from 10% to 15% – a level at which the organic construction is predicted to be cost-effective. A prototype system using the photovoltaic cells is scheduled to be created later this year.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Building Better Schools

Download this digital resource to better understand the challenges and opportunities in designing and operating educational facilities for safety, sustainability, and performance...

Tips to Keep Facility Management on Track

How do you plan to fill the knowledge gap as seasoned facility managers retire or leave for new opportunities? Learn about the latest strategies including FM tech innovations ...

The Beauty & Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Built Environment

Biophilic design is a hot trend in design, but what is it and how can building professionals incorporate these strategies for the benefits of occupants? This eHandbook offers ...

The Benefits of Migrating from Analog to DMR Two-Way Radios

Are you still using analog two-way radios? Download this white paper and discover the simple and cost-effective migration path to digital DMR radios that deliver improved audio...