Conventional solar energy collection technologies have a lot of limitations with respect to their applicability in the urban environment. The PV cells of the buildings need to be oriented towards the South at a specific angle causing restrictions on urban planning. Moreover, the aesthetics of PV cells are not well suited for building design, creating a generally dull and industrial look in urban environment.
The 3TU Lighthouse Leafroof project focuses on creating a roof design, inspired by the natural shape of leaves. By incorporating the Luminescent Solar Concentrator (LSC) technology the system can collect and “trap” solar irradiation and concentrate it to a much smaller area of PV cells located at the centre or the edge of the leaf tiles.
This approach allows more freedom of building orientation and roof inclination compared to the conventional PV system. Subsequently, it enhances freedom in urban planning. The goal of this project is to create a “leaf roof” prototype and form a feasible solar energy collection technology that is competitive to conventional systems.