A facade covered with Piksols on a sunny day. Image by Drzach & Suchy (more images below)
After flexible solar panels and spray-on solar cells, Drzach & Suchy, an architect who works in Basel and a cryptographer and software engineer who works in Zurich, have designed Piksol; a solar pixel to harvest the sun and create decorative images on facades.
Piksol enables designers and architects to create arbitrary patterns and images on buildings, billboards or other surfaces, while at the same time collecting solar energy. This invention allows for both visually interesting and environment-friendly designs of facades. And, since the image is due to the shadow the Piksols cast, the image changes during the day as the sun circles the facade.
A single Piksol. Image by Drzach & Suchy
Piksol is a sun-absorbing, shadow casting panel
Piksol has a double role: the solar pixel collects the sun and transforms it into energy. It also casts a shadow, a black pixel, onto the façade, which then forms part of the whole picture made up of black pixels. If you stand in front of the façade, you won't notice the solar cells, but only the image or pattern they cast. On a cloudy day therefore, the image will be hardly visible, and the façade changed depending on the intensity and position of the sun. This can even be taken further by having two different images appear on a building; one illuminated by the morning sun, and a different one that appears with the afternoon sun.
Two views of the panel under different directions of sunlight. Image by Drzach & Suchy
Piksol is in its prototyping phase now, but we hope to see the real deal soon. We believe that work like this is important to promote the use of solar energy, and integrating solar cells better and better into our objects and buildings. Visit the Piksol site for more images and explanations. Thanks Sergio C. for the tip! :: Drzach & Suchy