The concept of Sustainable Development is an approach to development that looks to balance different needs against an awareness of environmental, social and economic limitations we face as a society. A perfect example of sustainable development is Michele Puzzolante's Sustainable Floating Island.
There is more electrical energy created by the sun in one hour than the entire world use in one year. The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet is so vast that in one year it is about twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the Earth's non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined.
Convinced that solar energy is the solution to environmental issues, Michele Puzzolante, Italian Industrial Designer, decided to get involved in Sustainable Development by inventing a unique building integrated photovoltaic concept totally self-sufficient energy generator, non-polluting and in unison with its natural surroundings.
Michele Puzzolante’s invention is based on a new structural element that is composed of a twenty millimeter outside skin and a twenty millimeter inside skin in balsa reinforced fiberglass. Thin films photovoltaic are integrated into the two skins to absorb sunlight energy from the outside and artificial lighting energy from the inside. Between the two skins there is a thirty centimeter vacuum insulation to protect the habitation from outside heat as well as reducing the consummation of air conditioning to the minimum.
After a thorough research and programming step Michele Puzzolante designed the Sustainable Floating Island (SFI Brand), a building integrated photovoltaic concept that could be used for terrestrial as well as floating applications. With SFI we enter a new era of advanced construction techniques, based on industrial design rather than traditional architecture. SFI uses advanced materials, systems and techniques that have been applied successfully in the car and naval industries. SFI has been designed with the industrial viewpoint of fabricating repetitive standard elements, using molding technology. This way, the master molds can reproduce hundreds of pieces cutting down considerably the fabrication costs, like in the car industry . Therefore, the main originality of SFI resides in its modular system that permits to construct all the parts in a factory, transport them by containers on site by ground, air or sea and to assemble the whole in a few weeks, like a “Lego”.
Thin films photovoltaic work under low light conditions as well as artificial light. The electrical current produced by the thin films photovoltaic is converted from direct current (DC) into alternative current (AC), almost twenty four hours the day, providing enough energy to the entire electrical systems of the SFI. The excess of electrical current is then stored into Lithium-Ion Batteries. Thin films photovoltaic have a dye that absorbs light and transforms it into electricity. It is a solar cell very cheap compare to the silicon cell. The dye is based on a chlorophyll molecule, the chemical that plants use to absorb sunlight. That’s science imitating nature! It’s called artificial photosynthesis.
A molecule of chlorophyll absorbs light and generates electrical charges and then those charges are conducted to produce an electrical current. Thin films photovoltaic are made of low cost materials and do not need elaborated apparatus to manufacture. They can be engineered into flexible sheets that are mechanically robust. They absorb light from sunlight, low light conditions, cloudy skies, non-direct sunlight and artificial indoor lighting.
Thus, we can recycle the energy wasted in the electrical indoor lighting process and use it back in the electrical system again!
Source: MPD Designs