solar pixel
mar 17, 2010
solar pixel

detail of

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

a single

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.

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

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