US start-up creates chameleon solar panels that can “display any image”

A US start-up called Sistine Solar has created customisable solar panels that, it says, can display any image.

Sistine’s panels can be customised to blend in with a building’s roof, by adopting the image of tiles, cedar, shingle, clay, sand or terracotta.

The panels can also display other images, such as grass, water, artwork, flags and custom designs. Sistine says firms can use the panels as advertising, and that panels in the countryside can be configured to blend in with the scenery.

SolarSkin panels cost 10% more than their traditional rivals, but Sistine say that the average home can save $30,000 over their lifetime.

The technology works by using a light filtration technique that displays an image while transmitting light to solar cells underneath.

Sistine Solar say: "In one hour, enough sunlight reaches the Earth to power it for an entire year. Yet solar makes up less than 1% of our global energy production. How can we leapfrog incremental progress to convert the planet to 100% clean energy in our lifetime?"

The firm have received grants from the US Department of Energy and won a Clean Energy Prize from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is currently are collaborating with German research and development company the Fraunhofer Centre.

Images courtesy of Sistine Solar

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