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Source: Twitter

A Concrete Roof Can Now Harvest Solar Power

By Brian Spaen

Installing solar panels on a rooftop has been the prominent choice in generating solar power, but what if we could skip that step? Researchers have been testing out a concrete roof prototype that has photovoltaic cells in one of the layers. The new technology could add another option for advanced integration of solar power generation.

The prototype was created by researchers from ETH Zurich and it will be part of a rooftop apartment unit called HiLo. It’ll be located on the NEST, which is classified as a living lab building at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Research is being led by Phillipe Bock and Arno Schluter, who are architecture professors at the university.

Two layers are melded together to create the curved concrete roof. The first inner layer features heating and cooling cools along with insulation. The outer layer features extremely thin photovoltaic cells. Since the solar cells are coated onto the curve, researchers suggest that the roof could generate more energy than what’s required for the apartment.