solar pixel
mar 17, 2010
solar pixel



detail of
‘piksols’

swiss-based drzach & suchy (drzach is an architect in basel, suchy is a cryptographer,
software engineer working in zurich) have designed ‘piksol’, a solar cell pixel which enables
one to create arbitrary patterns and images on sun facing building facades.
it represents a single pixel of an image, so when multiple ‘piksols’ are combined in a
desired arrangement, they provide a visual design, while at the same time exercising the
capabilities of collecting solar energy. this combination allows for both an aesthetically interesting
and environmentally-friendly facade design.



simple prototype
‘piksols’ made of paper and small solar cells

drzach & suchy have built a small prototype of a shadow casting panel which gives you
an idea of how the ‘piksols’ could be realized on a facade.



an example of a shadow casting panel containing several
‘piksols’


a single
‘piksol’

when ‘piksols’ are attached to the facade of a building, they cast a shadow represented
in the form of a black pixel of the image / pattern which will be visible.
an observer standing in front of a building decorated by ‘piksols’ would not see the solar cells
at all. on a cloudy day when there is no direct sunlight the pattern would hardly be visible.


‘piksols’
as building blocks of a shadow casting panel

‘piksols’ used in a shadow casting panel could change their appearance
during the day,
as the direction of sun illumination changes. for example, in the morning image ‘A’ would
decorate a facade, while in the afternoon image ‘B’ would become the visible image (as seen below).



two views of the same panel under different directions of light



a facade covered with
‘piksols’ in the design of mona lisa on a sunny day


example of shadow casting panel

comments policy
LOG IN VIA
login with designboom
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

product library