Innovation That Matters

A solar-integrated facade solution being installed | Photo source CNW Group/Mitrex

Solar panels that look like bricks turn homes into power generators

Property & Construction

The photovoltaic system can be designed to match almost any facade

Spotted: Solar panel enthusiasts now have the means to turn almost any vertical surface into a source of power. For urban dwellers with little or no access to a rooftop or garden, Mitrex’s new systems makes it possible to bring solar power to almost any home. The Canadian solar experts created a building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) material that looks like a regular stone, brick, glass, or wood facade. Capable of matching almost any design, the material provides architects and government planners with near limitless options for integrating solar panels into new or existing structures.

Used as cladding, BIPVs can cover old siding or be used as a first choice in current builds. The flexibility of the system includes sizing as well, with BIPVs cut to a range of sizes and shapes to fit in with the desired design. From the simplicity of a high-rise balcony railing to the scale of a road noise cancelling wall, the BIPVs make it possible to generate power from any surface that gets sunlight. A single panel generates up to 350W of power, and the company offers several different pricing options. Customers choose between owning the entire system and the power, or just the installed hardware. Mitrex handles the full installation process.

As well as bespoke designs, Mitrex’s system comes in a variety of colours. Darker colours are more efficient and produce more power, so for lighter pieces, Mitrex includes additional elements such as coatings that improve reflectivity and minimise energy losses.

The flexibility of newer versions of renewable energy sources is contributing to their improved accessibility. From a wall-mounted wind farm designed for personal home use to a portable generator that runs on wind, sun and traditional electricity, innovators are finding myriad ways to bring sustainable power to as many people as possible. 

Written by: Keely Khoury



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