SOLAR ENERGY MATERIALS AND SYSTEMS FOR AN AESTHETIC AND SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Renewable energy sources have an important role in global energy demand in the 21st century. New investigations in solar energy materials and solar energy systems offer new opportunities for a sustainable future, adapting local energy needs, environmental protection and aesthetics. Solar energy can be used almost everywhere, with visible materials and systems. In this paper, an overview of new solar energy materials and systems is presented, focused on the work that is performed in the Laboratories of the University of Patras and of the Technical Educational Institute. The research activities of these Laboratories are on nanotechnology, biotechnology, microalgae hydrogen production, photovoltaics, smart glazings and materials for solar energy systems. A brief description of the achieved improvements on these solar energy materials is included, where energy performance and system cost play an important role together with aesthetics, considering their wide application in the future.
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