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MIT startup offers camouflage solar panels that will match any roof
May 25, 2017
<h5><span style="float: none;">Sistine Solar wants to help sustainability-minded homeowners who also care about aesthetics.<i></i></span><br/></h5>
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<p></p><p>CURBED — No one would argue for the aesthetic beauty of the average solar panel—the dark, gridded rectangles blend into rooftops about as well as a penguin at a peacock party. But one MIT-born startup is hoping to change all that.</p><p><br/></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>Sistine Solar creates panel systems that can be customized to visually match a shingled rooftop, an ad, or any other image you can imagine. The secret is a proprietary SolarSkin embedded in the panel that reflects back an image while still letting light through to the photovoltaic cells below. </p><p>​</p><p>Sistine Solar’s customization currently tacks on an additional 10 percent to the cost of a solar panel system, but the company is betting that homeowners will still prefer the camouflaged panels.</p><p><br/></p><p>Their first residential installation just wrapped in December, and already Sistine Solar has had hundreds of inquiries—particularly in Massachusetts and California.</p><p><br/></p><p><img src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/8060249/loghome_solarskin_after1_orig.jpg" style="height: 551px;width: 830px;"/><br/></p><p><img src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/8060247/mansion1_solarskin_after_orig.jpg" style="height: 551px;width: 830px;"/><br/>
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<br/></p><p><img src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/8060269/mansion3_solarskin_after_6_orig.jpg" style="height: 551px;width: 830px;"/><br/></p><p><img src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/8060287/naturehouse_solarskin_after_3_orig.jpg" style="height: 551px;width: 830px;"/><br/></p><p><br/></p><p id="8vz4Sf">“We think SolarSkin is going to catch on like wildfire,” said co-founder Senthil Balasubramanian in an interview with <a href="http://news.mit.edu/2017/startup-solar-panels-face-lift-custom-designs-0223">MIT</a>. “There is a tremendous desire by homeowners to cut utility bills, and solar is finding reception with them—and homeowners care a lot about aesthetics.”</p><p id="8vz4Sf"><br/></p><div style="text-align: center;"><div id="div-gpt-ad-mobile_article_body"></div></div><p id="JzDFb3">But they’re certainly not the only ones betting on the “aesthetic solar” trend. Last October, electric car company Tesla revealed it’s creating a line of <a href="http://www.curbed.com/2016/10/31/13478124/tesla-solar-roof-tiles-powerwall-batteries">rooftop solar tiles</a> made from four different types of glass panels, ranging from a Tuscan glass tile to a textured glass tile. </p><p id="JzDFb3"><br/></p><p id="JzDFb3">Another startup, the Italian company <a href="http://www.dyaqua.it/">Dyaqua</a>, has started manufacturing photovoltaic roof tiles that appear indistinguishable from <a href="http://www.curbed.com/2016/10/12/13258580/crowdfunding-solar-panel-design">terra cotta, wood, and stone</a>. Sistine Solar’s apparent advantage among these companies is that you can install the camouflaged panels without needing to entirely re-roof your home.</p><p id="JzDFb3"><br/></p><h5>Thank you to our friends at <i>Curbed</i> for providing the original article below:</h5><p></p>
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