Diffusion of solar energy use in the urban built environment supported by new design

Marina van Geenhuizen, Joop Schoonman, Angèle Reinders

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

32 Downloads (Pure)


Places of large potentials of sustainable energy production and places of energy consumption are often very different and separated by large distances across the globe. This paper first discusses potentials of solar technology in terms of global availability using PV technology and actual energy production. Solar energy is widely under-used and one way to reduce this is to improve production in low-energy places with high demand: large cities. According to this option, about 40% of the electricity consumption in the built environment could be produced by solar PV systems. To reach this goal appropriate solar PV energy conversion devices and energy storage systems are needed. This paper discusses conditions in the built environment and functional and design qualities enabling an increased diffusion of the technologies. In a comparative analysis of PV technologies, the criteria taken into account encompass efficiency of the type of solar cell and commercial availability. Special attention is paid to the design features of different PV systems, like flexibility, colour and transparency that might help in their utilization as integrated in building material and ornaments in modern architecture. The same procedure is followed for electricity storage devices. The preliminary conclusion is that at present the freedom of design is largest for a combination of crystalline silicon PV cells and Li-ion batteries. Implications for urban policy will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventThird International Symposium on Engineering Systems: CESUN 2012 - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 18 Jun 201220 Jun 2012
Conference number: 3rd


ConferenceThird International Symposium on Engineering Systems
Abbreviated titleCESUN 2012


  • Onderzoek van algemene industriele aardMechanical engineering and technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Diffusion of solar energy use in the urban built environment supported by new design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this