The Viridian Design Movement

Subject: Viridian Note 00422: Photovoltaic Display Screens

Key concepts
PV-TV, see-through solar panels, projection display screens
Attention Conservation Notice:
It's a wacky, overpriced solar-power knickknack, but every red-blooded Viridian is bound to want one.

"PaleA.MGX is the latest lamp produced by Materialise.MGX, a manufacturer based in Belgium. The lamp is made of epoxy resin, stainless steel and aluminum, is available in a variety of colors and is produced using a stereolithography process. (...) The self extractable file from which the product can be printed and reproduced is given as a complementary item to the customers with the purchase of each lamp."


Source: (((No less a publication than the august METROPOLIS, ladies and gentlemen.)))

"PV-TV: A Multifunctional, Eco-Friendly Building Material

"By Eliza Barclay
Posted July 27, 2004

"A skyscraper's exterior skin adds structural support and helps maintain the building's internal temperature; some skins also offer aesthetic value, shimmering in the light and reflecting the landscape in pleasing ways. But what if a skyscraper's outside wrapping could take a more active role in sustaining the building's operational needs and engaging passers-by?

"One result might be PV-TV. Developed last year by the Tokyo-based MSK Corporation in conjunction with chemical company Kaneka and Japanese architecture firm Taiyo Industries, this amorphous silicon technology has a 'three-in-one' functionality: it is able to act as a glazing element, solar panel, and video display screen." (((Yowza!)))

"The panels, which are 980mm long and 950mm wide, come in a standard depth of 10mm thick, as well as in a 13mm-thick, strengthened-glass option.

"As an external glaze, PV-TV allows up to 10% visible light to be transmitted through the panel. This level of light transmission is optimal to allow sufficient light in cloudy conditions while protecting against excessive solar gain and ultraviolet rays. It can provide thermal insulation and replace top lights, eaves, windows, and/or curtain walls.

"As a solar photovoltaic (PV) panel, PV-TV can generate 3.8 watts of electricity per square foot, an above- average level of efficiency. Furthermore, unlike other PV systems, these panels are transparent and can be integrated into almost any part of a building without obscuring light or ruining the building's aesthetic appearance, two downsides of conventional PV panels. (((Oh come on, panels don't "ruin" anybody's appearance.)))

"But PV-TV's most unusual feature is its ability to act as a full-color internal and external screen. (((Now we're talkin'. All day they generate energy and are kind of 90 percent cloudy gray, and then at night you can beam TV through them!)))

"A picture or advertisement projected from inside a structure can be seen within that building, with PV-TV acting as a regular display screen. On the outside of the building, the material can function as a giant billboard.

"Since the PV-TV screens don't have the luminosity of liquid crystalline or a digital TV screen, they perform best when there are no other competing light sources, according to MSK spokeswoman Aya Tanida. (((All night, they could spew giant copies of your weblog at awestruck passers-by.)))

"Currently, there are a few projects within Japan where PV-TV has been applied. One is MSK's own factory in Nagano, where various components of MSK's solar modules are manufactured. The factory is now the world's largest single PV module plant, producing 100 megawatts of energy annually. (((Imagine the joy of using your solar TV panels to broadcast the future Hague showtrials of the board of directors of ExxonMobil.)))

"Though PV-TV has yet to gain popularity outside of Japan, (((okay, Viridians, go make them trendy))) MSK still has high hopes for the global market. The company recently opened an office in London and says it will heavily market all of its PV products to European companies. (((Blight-stricken Yankees are insufficiently cool for this technology.)))

"Could PV-TV have a future in the U.S.? According to Paul Maycock, of PV Energy Systems, Inc., it is uncertain. One stumbling block is how difficult it is to quantify the product's value versus its price. (((Oh who CARES! It's a projection screen that generates power!))) (Right now, the technology is priced at $45 per square foot.) (((Americans still measure in 'feet.'))) But that said, Maycock adds, 'Whoever heard of a curtain wall that pays for itself? It's a great idea to do something with the skin of the building besides just keeping the heat load down.'

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