November 22, 2015

Architectural solar cells

You know that photo of a parking lot where the rows and rows of cars are covered with a canopy of solar cells? "Share and Like if you think every parking lot should look like this!".

Umm no. I've always argued that the ideal parking lot, say, for a mall, should have several dozen parking spots close to the entrances, all for handicapped parking. Plus a bus stop.

As a sign that I've been living in small-town America for a long time, I had forgotten to advocate for bicycle parking. So here is my bit on that conversation: Share and Like if you think every parking lot should look like THIS:

This is a typical bike lot in the Netherlands. It can accomodate a dozen bikes in the space ordinarily taken up by a single car. A roof protects the bikes against frequent Dutch rains.

But this one has a novel catch: solar panels on the pleasingly curved surface. These are architectural thin-film solar cells that are bendable: so you don't need a flat surface to mount them on; they can be applied to buildings with visually interesting curved surfaces. Think of what an archtect like Zaha Hadid could do with that!



You may also like:
1. EV Unplugged: the TRULY zero emission electric car
2. Solar Energy From a Road Surface is Now a Reality
3. How to Slash Transportation Emissions



  1. We did this in Coney Island 10 years ago. All rail terminals should get this treatment! http://untappedcities.com/2013/10/22/coney-islands-stillwell-avenue-station-covered-2730-identical-solar-panels/

    1. Wow! You're so right: all rail stations should have these. And all libraries, schools, government buildings and - all right - malls.


You have an opinion: Let's hear it.
(Comments are moderated; please be patient).