Integrating photovoltaic cells into decorative architectural glass using traditonal glasspainting techniques and fluorescent dyes

Hardy, D.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-6028-7555, Roaf, S.C. and Richards, B.S., 2015. Integrating photovoltaic cells into decorative architectural glass using traditonal glasspainting techniques and fluorescent dyes. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, 10 (6), pp. 863-879. ISSN 1743-7601

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Photovoltaic cells can be integrated into decorative glass, providing a showcase for this renewable technology,
whilst assisting in the creation of sustainable architecture through generation of electricity from the building surface. However, traditional, opaque, square, crystalline-silicon solar cells contrast strongly with their
surroundings when incorporated into translucent, coloured glazing. Methods of blending photovoltaic cells into
their surroundings were developed, using traditional glass painting techniques. A design was created in which
opaque paint was applied to the areas of glass around underlying photovoltaic cells. Translucent, platinum paint
was used on the glass behind the photovoltaic cells. This covered the grey cell backs whilst reflecting light and
movement. The platinum paint was shown to cause a slight increase in power produced by photovoltaic cells
placed above it. To add colour, very small amounts of Lumogen F dye (BASF) were incorporated into a silicone
encapsulant (Dow Corning, Sylgard 184), which was then used hold photovoltaic cells in place between sheets of
painted glass. Lumogen dyes selectively absorb and emit light, giving a good balance between colour addition
and electricity production from underlying photovoltaic cells. When making sufficient quantities of dyed
encapsulant for a 600 x 450 mm test piece, the brightness of the dye colours faded, and fluorescence decreased,
although some colour was retained. Improvement of the method, including testing of alternative encapsulant
materials, is required, to ensure that the dyes continue to fluoresce within the encapsulant. In contrast, the
methods of adding opacity variation to glass, through use of glass painting, are straightforward to develop for use
in a wide variety of photovoltaic installations. Improvement of these methods opens up a wide variety of
architectural glass design opportunities with integrated photovoltaics, providing an example of one new medium
to make eco-architecture more aesthetically pleasing, whilst generating electricity.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning
Creators: Hardy, D.A., Roaf, S.C. and Richards, B.S.
Publisher: WIT Press
Date: 2015
Volume: 10
Number: 6
ISSN: 1743-7601
Divisions: Schools > School of Art and Design
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 13 Jan 2016 09:44
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:58

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