A radical approach to harnessing solar energy
We all know what to expect from solar panels, don’t we? Flat, square, black… They are certainly functional, but no one could accuse them of being aesthetically pleasing.
Until now, that is.
Cambridge Design Partnership (CDP) is helping UK company Solivus to bring a remarkable new concept for renewable energy to the market.
“Solivus had the idea for a freestanding solar panel with high architectural values,” explains James Baker, partner at CDP. “Its CEO, Jo Parker-Swift, wanted to create a product so attractive that people would be happy to have one in their garden.”
The end result is a beautiful curved solar installation. “Jo had the concept of a 3-dimensional structure that would capture solar energy more effectively in a given footprint than a flat panel can. CDP helped Solivus turn that concept into a reality” says James. “It also looks stunning, helping Solivus open up new markets for solar energy.”
The panels themselves are ground-breaking too, says Conor Devine, mechanical engineer at CDP: “We used flexible organic solar film from pioneering German firm Heliatek. The green credentials for this film are impeccable compared to the usual polysilicon technology used in conventional panels.”
“Ultimately, the new design will help power homes and electric cars and is set to be brought to the market”, explains Ben Crundwell, senior electronics engineer at CDP. “Our brief so far has been to create a prototype for Solivus to show to investors and potential customers. So we built the 3-dimensional solar generator at CDP in-house, as a bespoke one-off. The next step will be to refine it for cost effective, volume manufacture. We have considerable experience in this process and can provide all the development capabilities needed to move smoothly to production,” says Ben.
The Solivus project is just part of CDP’s increasing involvement in the sustainable energy sector. “As a firm, we believe passionately in doing all we can to create better and more efficient renewable energy systems, whilst also providing our clients with a unique value proposition,” says James.
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