A house made of glass blocks will be able to independently generate electricity

Any home has enough surfaces that can capture sunlight. Various projects are trying to exploit this opportunity - there are already energy harvesting windows and a "solar roof" from Tesla. However, researchers at the University of Exeter went further and developed building blocks from which entire walls can be laid out, capable of capturing the energy of the Sun.

These transparent blocks are called "Solar Squared". Each contains a variety of optical elements that focus incoming sunlight onto a separate solar panel. All panels inside the unit are interconnected, and the units, in turn, can be combined into arrays, supplying the collected energy to the home network or storage device.

Most of the incoming light passes directly through the panels, illuminating the interior of the dwelling. At the same time, the blocks can be tinted from the inside to prevent overheating of the indoor air. By the way, according to the developers, Solar Squared provides better thermal insulation than their traditional glass counterparts.

Solar Squared technology was developed by Build Solar, which is currently seeking partners for commercial testing. If successful, solar units could be on the market as early as next year. Their price or efficiency of light conversion has not yet been announced.