There's always been much debate about solar panels and their aesthetic nature, so much so that we felt it were necessary to address this with our blog post 'Will Solar Panels Make My Home Look Ugly?'.
However, we can finally put any debate to bed following the story to hit most online design news sites last week about a stained glass window with a difference. Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel has designed a stained glass window that is made up of solar cells and can generate solar energy to power small devices from mobile phones to laptops.
The panels have been specially dyed for this project and are capable of harnessing energy from sunlight as well as overcast light. One of the challenges of the project was that colours within the window react differently to the light and produce different levels of energy, so van Aubel had to design a stained glass window that not only looked great but produced enough energy too.
Each window is capable of harvesting solar energy up to 25 watts per day depending on the quality of light and the time of year. An energy storage battery is hidden within the windowsill to store any left over energy.
However, this is one product of many that Marian van Aubel plans to roll out in the near future through her company Caventou, whose mission is to create everyday objects that are capable of generating their own energy using solar technology. You can hear about the idea behind Caventou's Current Table that generates energy using solar cells. The first stained glass solar panels are due to be installed in a home in London's Soho.
Picture Credit Wai Ming Ng