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The Soft Cities Project in Porto – Organic Photovoltaics

Juni 7, 2011
(c) Hans Georg Roth, KVA Matx

(c) Hans Georg Roth, KVA Matx

To date solar energy is mostly found in the form of glass solar panels. A pilot project carried out in Porto, Portugal offers an alternative: Solar fibre integrated in a textile surface. The combination of textile and thin-film solar nanomaterials  has numerous advantages, the flexibilty and especially the low cost and low carbon footprint of its production. On the other hand however, they are rather inefficient, converting a maximum of 4% of incoming light to electricity but on the other hand solar power can be harvested the whole day.

In this pilot project 25,000 row houses built in the 17th to 19th centuries were included. The goal was to „provide daily energy use savings of more than 60% per household with textiles of 15 square meters, or about 10% if the typical roof area“. On average 6,5 kWh/day will be generated that can be used to power appliances or to charge motor scooters.

The „solar textiles“ are also a canopy that can be stretched by day to harvest the sun’s energy and can be packed up and stored at night.

More info can be found here:

and in „Ecological Urbanism“ edited by Mohsen Mostafavi and Gareth Doherty.

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