SunCrete©

TU Delft, 2011/2012

Together with Foteini Setaki I am currently researching and experimenting on concrete with embedded solar scrap to push the optimization of concrete properties to the limit.
Our preliminary sketch for a new type of concrete combines the common characteristics of the material with the ability to harvest solar energy. SUNCRETE© is therefore robust, it has all the advantages that its thermal mass brings and on top of that it can produce electricity, all in one! Changing the surface of conventional concrete is the first step we take. By using solar scrap we recycle broken solar cells and enhance the surface of the concrete by giving it a new aesthetics (mosaic effect) and most importantly we give it the ability to harvest solar energy not only thermally but directly usable as electricity. In our first experiment the solar cell pieces are still clearly visible. Our aim is it to ultimately reach the point where the granulation of solar material is minimized to a size which blends in with the concrete and becomes just another “aggregate” (sees second sheet). In the future this could be realized with new technologies or existing ones like solar fabric or printed solar cells, solar silicon. Our aim is to develop a technique to easily and efficiently integrate the solar material and its circuits into a high end material, the UHPC, perfectionising the characteristics of concrete. SUNCRETE© shall be feasible for free forms as well as flat surfaces. In combination with UHPC it can gets a sleek appearance together with maximum robustness and maximal reduction of CO2 in production.

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