Power Shades

Solar energy has great potential, but integrating it into our lives is challenging. It needs experts to install, is difficult to manage and usually fails to visually integrate into its surroundings. Power Shades are architectural elements to design your outdoor space while generating energy right where you might need it.

For studio 7.5, I conceptualized and developed the Power Shades in a process that involved extensive research about solar energy and its use cases, resulting in a modular system of solar fences that can be used to either charge cars at parking spaces, be integrated into architecture or power a battery that can supply energy for domestic uses such as private gardens.

#storyboarding #userjourney #autodeskfusion360 #blender #kinematics #electronics #3dprinting #colorandmaterial #animation #rendering #adobephotoshop #adobeillustrator #adobeindesign
The initial idea of the project was to find a way to combine privacy fences usually found in gardens with solar modules. The resulting product would solve two needs at the same time: functioning as a space divider and as an energy collector. Solar panels could thus be integrated into gardens without appearing as an intruder.
To find the ideal geometry of the solar fences, I built a simulation environment in Blender that would allow for testing how much sunlight different geometries could catch. Since the sun position and the cardinal orientation of the fences is highly important, I also included a time and location simulation.
Additionally, I designed a shader that would represent the surfaces' angle to the sun by a change in color. This would also allow to calculate the different yields of static and tracking configurations, since the yield is influenced by the angle to the sun.
To investigate the impact of passive cooling on the panels' performance, I also conducted real life tests. After collecting all this data and more extensive research, I was able to calculate probable yields for the solar fences, specifically for the location Germany.
use case studies
After establishing the base geometry, different use cases and areas were investigated and batteries as energy distributors were introduced. This revealed that the solar fences, now called Power Shades, are especially suitable for supplying off the grid areas.
Being able to provide off the grid power, the Power Shades were also found to be suitable for areas beyond domestic use, such as the integration into larger architecture, or the use as charging stations for cars.
construction and form finding
I designed, 3d-printed and tested many iterations of the mechanics, resulting in a modular system that allows for many different configurations, is easy to manufacture and can easily be installed and expanded by end users without the need for specialized personnel.
Fusion 360 made the iterative design process possible.
To test visual elements, some models were 3d-printed and painted.
In order to present the Power Shades to investors, I created a website in webflow that highlights all the key features, design and energy calculations of the final concept. Visit seven5power.com to learn more about the Power Shades and see more concepts, renderings and animations that can only be experienced there (Although, you may have to load the website for a minute since we are facing some server issues – The wait will be worth it!)
Simon von Schmude