Buildings can already capture solar energy. But what if you could do it with every surface, not just via panels on the roof?
That was the starting point for ENVISION, a unique collaboration of nine partners – including AkzoNobel – which set out to devise a way of invisibly harvesting energy from all available surfaces.
Three years after being launched, the successful project has now been nominated for a European Sustainable Energy Award.
“By working together, the consortium came up with an innovative solution which allows heat to be captured by colors that traditionally reflect near-infrared light – not just black,” explains AkzoNobel senior scientist, Anthonie Stuiver. “It’s a practical and sustainable solution for making buildings energy positive – and existing houses more climate-friendly – which also gives consumers freedom of color choice.”
Theoretically, the concept was fairly straightforward. The challenge was how to convert and store the energy so that it can be used efficiently.
With around 60 billion square meters of unused facade surfaces in the European Union, and just as much roof surface, it’s a project with huge green building potential – which could rival other solar panel solutions. In fact, several pilot projects have already shown a bright future for solar capture.
Want to see how it works? Watch the video below to learn more.