This unique origami-inspired solar panel has the potential to turn windows into a source of electricity for any apartment dweller.
For urban residences and buildings, implementing renewable sources of energy can be difficult. Researchers have tried building solar panels out of various materials so they can be placed in front of windows, but this generally leads to a large decrease in natural lighting in exchange for limited energy generation.
Soligami, on the other hand, is a solar panel system that works similarly to shutter blinds so that light can still be allowed to pass through a window.
Furthermore, the folded design of the system has an increased surface area, which results in greater energy production.
“We’re looking at repositioning the city as a place of production, not just a place of consumption,” Ben Berwick, an architect for the Soligami panel, told Fast Company.
“It’s making your apartment a better place to be,” he added.
Although the cost of each Soligami system is yet to be determined, the simplicity of manufacturing the panels and their inexpensive materials is likely to be fairly cheap for consumers.
The Soligami project, which was created by Australian architectural startup Prevalents, is one of the finalists for the 2019 Lexus Design Award. In addition to receiving mentorship and a $25,000 prize to develop their production, the design team currently has a patent pending for the Soligami system.
“It’s clear that the fusion of classical design and computational design is now happening especially in the minds of designers looking to solve our world’s biggest problems,” said 2019 LDA judge John Maeda. “I’m optimistic that as we continue to nurture and embrace this new generation of designers, we’ll see a better tomorrow.”