A unique technological solution for integrating high-definition images in solar panels

Smile – your photos can generate energy!

Thanks to the support of the Banque Cantonale Neuchâteloise (BCN), CSEM has developed the KALEO technology, which enables the production of illustrated solar panels. Opening new horizons in solar energy, this promising solution can be discovered in Neuchâtel. For the first time, six “photovoltaic” high-definition photographs was viewed in the gardens of the BCN. These works of art produced electricity during the whole duration of the exhibition.

A mischievous look, a bright smile, or a dreamy look: a range of expressions suggesting energy, captured by the lens of the photographer Guillaume Perret, was on view in the gardens of the Neuchâtel headquarters of the BCN on Saturday 24th June from 09:00 to 11:00 for the Open House morning. These images aren’t just esthetically pleasing – thanks to the KALEO technology developed by CSEM, they are printed on solar panels that produce electric current. Three trompe-l’oeil panels on the façade of the bank complete the installation. This exhibition represents a genuine “first”, and will be accessible throughout the summer on request.

When photovoltaics rhymes with esthetics

Over the last few years, CSEM has excelled as a pioneer in the development of esthetic photovoltaics solutions, intended to broaden the range of durable architectural materials. Thanks to the engagement of public partners such as the Swiss National Science Foundation or the canton of Neuchâtel, it has developed important innovations such as white or colored solar panels. KALEO is just one example of this innovative spirit. With a strong wish to find new sources of energy for future generations, the BCN has provided significant financial support for this project, thus making an important breakthrough possible. CSEM’s scientists have “hidden” the solar panel using a high-definition image, while allowing sufficient light through to produce electricity. A surface of 30 to 40 square meters could in this way supply a household of four people with electricity.

From the laboratory to our cities

By offering a new perception of solar energy, this technology will in time contribute to an increase in architectural solutions that integrate photovoltaic systems (BIPV). It also enables other uses such as in advertising. Such applications all have the same goal – to promote the use of renewable energy. To respond to the demands of Switzerland’s energy strategy, the share of solar in the total production of energy needs to increase from 2,5 % to 20% between now and 2050. By thus providing architects with this new option, CSEM and BCN are encouraging this momentum and helping to make this energy an integral part of our daily lives.

About CSEM
CSEM—technologies that make the difference
CSEM, founded in 1984, is a Swiss research and development center (public-private partnership) specializing in microtechnology, nanotechnology, microelectronics, system engineering, photovoltaics and communications technologies. Around 450 highly qualified specialists from various scientific and technical disciplines work for CSEM in Neuchâtel, Zurich, Muttenz, Alpnach, and Landquart. Further information is available at www.csem.ch

Source: CSEM