Every day solar energy is touching the earth’s surface five thousand times as much as humanity needs to cover the complete energy demand. The potential is higher than all the other renewable energy sources together.
That’s the reason why the direct usage of solar energy has an outstanding role at the international upcoming shift towards renewable energy sources.
Compared to photovoltaic, „solar heat“ uses the energy of the sun for heating or cooling directly. Both processes are also used in combination and achieve a ways higher degree of efficiency than photovoltaic only.
Although it is quite new, the technique has already gained some relevant applications through some pilot projects all over the world: Such as facades able to cool or heat the houses, panels on the roof collecting the solar energy or special glass considering the position of the sun to climate the rooms. In India we find experiments going on to prepare hundreds of meals/day for a community kitchen with help of a giant solar oven. In Finland Antto Melasniemi and Martí Guixé use solar ovens for experimental kitchen and gastronomic projects. In an industrial scale, people now try to operate gas turbines with the collected solar heat to generate electricity. In a much smaller scale, direct usage of solar heat also finds its application in a more domestic field, from warming up the swimming pool to some other more poetics, such as flying kids balloons.
BLACK IS A COLOR.
A particular feature of these projects is that they all require quite large and therefore noticeable surfaces in order to concentrate the sun’s energy. This specific eye-catching surfaces make the solar heat a highly relevant theme for designers and architects.
Dealing with the sun the envolved materials need to face extremely high standards, such as UV exposure, strongly fluctuating temperatures, high pressures and global weather conditions.
At this stage, „solar heat“ is therefore at the center of consideration in material, architecture and design.
BASF developed and is developping types of plastics that can withstand not only the extreme conditions, but can also be processed in a highly efficient way. Some of the BASF materials are even able to substitute expensive and rare materials like copper.
The ambition of this collaborative project between HFG Karlsruhe, ENSCI Paris and the solar heat and plastic specialists of the chemical company BASF is to develop new ideas and concepts for the direct use of solar energy as well as the possibly to extend the application of already known concepts by using the high design freedom and possibilities of plastics. The participants may address the question of how to insert solar heat and sensible innovation in the domestic context.
Under the aegis of HfG Karlsruhe, students of several universities of design developed innovative designs in the fall semester 2011/2012 for a future under the sun. In the development of their forwardlooking ideas regarding the use of solar-thermal energy in urban and private environments, the young designers were advised by plastics experts of the world’s largest chemical group, BASF.
Every day, five thousand times more solar energy hits the earth’s surface than humanity needs to meet its energy requirement. The potential of solar energy is thus significantly higher than that of any other renewable form of energy. Solar-thermal facilities transform solar energy directly into useful thermal energy. They are therefore particularly suitable for playing an important role in the future energy mix of renewable energies. To gain solar heat, large collectors on roofs or facades are necessary. They are often perceived as disturbing the urban landscape.
The students of HfG and one of its partner universities, ENSCI – Les Ateliers in Paris, as well as of Berlin Uni- versity of the Arts (UDK), turned necessity into virtue and presented clever and surprising salutations for urban everyday life. Mentored by HfG and BASF, the young designers of The Sun Heat Project showed how the sun will help us heat pools and apartments efficiently, prepare meals, and use our streets as heat storage. For The Sun Heat Project, BASF experts from the field of solar-thermal energy discussed the technical feasibility of the projects with the young designers.
At the Milan furniture fair, the landmark annual international design event, in a joint representation with the HfG exhibition platform kkaarrlls, the project was presented for the first time to an international public and communicated via a sophisticated exhibition design planned by Martha Schwindling and Laura Jungmann.