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‘Dragonscale’ solar tiles installed at Google’s Silicon Valley campus

by Sion Geschwindt
'Dragonscale' solar tiles installed at Google's Silicon Valley campus

European solar panel company SunStyle has installed 7MW worth of ‘dragonscale’ solar tiles on two buildings at Google’s Silicon Valley campus.

Once up-and-running the 90,000 individual solar panels will generate enough to supply the two buildings with approximately 40% of their electricity needs.

The solar cells are embedded into a sturdy, but flexible, polyvinyl acetate layer.

Six millimeters of hardened solar glass protects the face of the panels and the back is protected by a layer of fire-resistant Tedlar.

Because the edges of the tiles are sealed to keep out moisture — much like a glass-glass solar panel — aluminum framing on the panel is not necessary.

Watch: Dragonscale solar at Google’s new Mountain View campus (Credit: Google Real Estate)

Asim Tahir, District and Renewable Energy lead at Google, said: “To hit our goal to operate on entirely carbon-free energy by 2030, we need to prioritise alternate sources of energy, like solar, and maximise the amount of solar energy our buildings can capture.

“The solar roof that will adorn both these buildings is the result of years of product development, collaboration with a handful of partners, and examining prototypes from manufacturers all over Europe.

“Our partners at SunStyle came to us with a highly textured prismatic glass shingle with a unique coating technology.

“The prismatic nature of the glass ‘trapped’ light that would normally escape from traditional flat solar panels and reduced reflective glare that can be a problem for drivers and pilots.

“That same texture that provides all that function, also gives the overlapping panels a unique sparkle that earned it its name ‘dragonscale’.

“Today, the two main buildings that have this solar roof, Bay View and Charleston East, are nearly complete.”

Image credit: Chris McAnneny Heatherwick/ Studio.max


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