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SolarOr – Making Energy out of Building Facades

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Did you know that buildings grab 40 percent of all generated electricity? Israeli electro-optical engineer Oren Aharon was surprised to discover this statistic, and set out to do something about it as Israel moves toward implementing “green” goals over the next few years.  Israel21C covered his company, SolarOr:

His solution born of three years of R&D is SolarOr, innovative solar panels integrated into a “curtain wall” system enveloping a building.

“I saw that many buildings, especially in Tel Aviv, have huge façades of glass, and it seemed ideal to use that façade in order to generate energy,” Aharon tells ISRAEL21c.

“We invented something we call BIPV — building-integrated photovoltaic — which we insert into the air layer between the glass layers in such a way that it produces a lot of energy on one hand, and on the other hand still permits about 30% of visible light to penetrate into the building,” says Aharon.

The BIPV panels also provide heat insulation. SolarOr’s system is designed to bring the solar-generated electricity into the building via wiring that leads from the panels into the building frame.

“On each floor, a converter will convert the output of DC energy into AC energy,” explains Aharon. “At this point, you can use it in the building or sell it back to the electric company.”

The architect would have the freedom to decide how much of the curtain wall surrounding the building would integrate the SolarOr technology, as energy-harvesting panels would not necessarily be needed throughout the entire façade.

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