High-efficiency Coloured Solar Panels for Buildings

Written by

Briain Kelly

Last edited

25/07/2024

If aesthetics is something that has ever made you reluctant to get solar panels installed, with their black silhouette which can stand out so prominently from a building, that concern may become a thing of the past.

A team of researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has developed a facade for solar panels which can create a great array of colours.

Dr. Oliver Höhn, Dr. Thomas Kroyer and Andreas Wessels from Fraunhofer ISE, based in Freiburg set out to create solar panels which could blend seamlessly into a building, with a minimal loss of efficiency.

The MorphoColor coating technology creates solar modules with strong saturated colours, while still retaining 95% of the power output of an uncoated solar panel.

It was nature which inspired this innovative technology. In particular, the Blue Morpho Butterfly achieves a dazzling blue colour on its wings with their unique structure which diffracts and reflects light.

“The 3D photonic structures on a morpho butterfly’s wings allow for an intensive, angularly stable coloured impression thanks to a fundamentally low-loss interference effect,” explains Kroyer.

Basing their technology on this biological process, the research team created a similar coating for the back of glass coverings of solar panels using a vacuum process.

Depending on the fine structure, this method can be used to produce glass coverings in various colours, whilst retaining the solar panel’s efficiency.

Author:

Briain Kelly
RENEWABLE ENERGY RESEARCHER

Briain Kelly is a Leinster based journalist and content creator who has been writing about energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for nearly three years. He researches the latest news in multiple areas related to solar power, electric vehicles, heat pumps, and home energy upgrades. His writing includes both technological developments and government policy.

Author:

Briain Kelly
Renewable Energy Researcher

Briain Kelly is a Leinster based journalist and content creator who has been writing about energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for nearly three years. He researches the latest news in multiple areas related to solar power, electric vehicles, heat pumps, and home energy upgrades. His writing includes both technological developments and government policy.

High-efficiency Coloured Solar Panels for Buildings

Written by

Briain Kelly

Last edited 

25/07/2024

If aesthetics is something that has ever made you reluctant to get solar panels installed, with their black silhouette which can stand out so prominently from a building, that concern may become a thing of the past.

A team of researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has developed a facade for solar panels which can create a great array of colours.

Dr. Oliver Höhn, Dr. Thomas Kroyer and Andreas Wessels from Fraunhofer ISE, based in Freiburg set out to create solar panels which could blend seamlessly into a building, with a minimal loss of efficiency.

The MorphoColor coating technology creates solar modules with strong saturated colours, while still retaining 95% of the power output of an uncoated solar panel.

It was nature which inspired this innovative technology. In particular, the Blue Morpho Butterfly achieves a dazzling blue colour on its wings with their unique structure which diffracts and reflects light.

“The 3D photonic structures on a morpho butterfly’s wings allow for an intensive, angularly stable coloured impression thanks to a fundamentally low-loss interference effect,” explains Kroyer.

Basing their technology on this biological process, the research team created a similar coating for the back of glass coverings of solar panels using a vacuum process.

Depending on the fine structure, this method can be used to produce glass coverings in various colours, whilst retaining the solar panel’s efficiency.

Author:

Briain Kelly
RENEWABLE ENERGY RESEARCHER

Briain Kelly is a Leinster based journalist and content creator who has been writing about energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for nearly three years. He researches the latest news in multiple areas related to solar power, electric vehicles, heat pumps, and home energy upgrades. His writing includes both technological developments and government policy.

Author:

Briain Kelly
Renewable Energy Researcher

Briain Kelly is a Leinster based journalist and content creator who has been writing about energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for nearly three years. He researches the latest news in multiple areas related to solar power, electric vehicles, heat pumps, and home energy upgrades. His writing includes both technological developments and government policy.

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