Camouflage solar panels as ancient Roman tiles in Pompeii

Invisible is better: when sustainable solutions blend into the landscape


The solar panels are disguised as ancient Roman tiles or terracotta tiles to match the city skyline. The innovative solutions adopted by the archaeological park Pompeii and the Portuguese city of Evora pave the way for an inspiring model: turning architectural constraints into assets, promoting heritage and Sustainability.

Each year, more than 3.5 million tourists from all over the world visit Pompeii to admire the ruins left by the eruption of Vesuvius which, in AD 79, engulfed it along with the city of Herculaneum. near. Some of them may have run into sheep recently brought in for mowing in the archaeological park. But certainly none of them have seen the solar panels on the Magnificent House of Cerere.

“They look exactly like the terracotta bricks used by the Romans, but they generate the electricity we need to light the frescoes,” said Gabriel Zuchtriegel, Director of Pompeii Archaeological Park. This solution is part of a more comprehensive strategy to turn costs into savings opportunities and towards sustainability.

“Pompeii is an ancient city that in some places is still completely preserved. Since we needed an extended lightning protection system, we were able to continue consuming energy, leaving poles and cables behind. around and distort the landscape, or choose to respect it and save millions of euros.”

Technically called “traditional pv brick“, the invisible solar panels used in Pompeii come from Camisano Vicentino, a small Italian town of a little over 10 000 inhabitants, located between Padua and Vicenza. They are created and patented by Dyaqua family business.

“It was me, my father, my mother and my brother,” Elisabetta Quagliato said. “As photovoltaic production is increasing, we are expanding and now have two employees.” The idea came from her father, Giovanni Battista, who started his business from a hobby of plastics and electricity. “He wanted to solve the problem of spotlights in public areas, which spoil the view when they are turned off.”

Traditional solar panels are made from polymer compounds, which allow the sun’s rays to pass through. The photovoltaic cells are then integrated into it by hand and coated with a polymer compound. “We can also give it the look of stone, wood, concrete and brick. Therefore, such a solution can be installed not only on the roof but also on the walls and floors,” says Quagliato.

Dyaqua’s clients are primarily local councils, who own properties subject to artistic or architectural restrictions. Approved by the Italian Ministry of Culture, traditional PV tiles have also been installed in Vicoforte, not far from Cuneo, and will soon be used in Rome’s famous contemporary art museum, Maxxi. In the coming months, they will also roof several public buildings in Split, Croatia and Evora, Portugal. Along with Alkmaar, in the Netherlands, the Portuguese city is one of the experimental sites for innovative solutions that combine sustainability with the stabilization of architecture and cultural heritage, within the framework of the European project Pocityf. The Italian company Tegola Canadese is one of its technical partners.

“Evora is a beautiful city, perched on top of a hill, facing south,” said its Director of Research and Development, Graziano Peterle, “Because it’s not flat, wherever you are, basically you can see every rooftop of the city.Most of them are red or terracotta but since the photovoltaic panels are usually dark blue or black it’s impossible not to go unnoticed here’s why the city government is determined to implement an invisible solution.”

The only way to disguise Solar power panels should have painted them, but this would reduce their energy efficiency. This is why Dyaqua is called by Tegola Canadese, the company that is managing other solutions in Evora. “While traditional PV tiles will cover the roof of City Hall, we are in charge of a sports hall, science center and two parking lots,” says Peterle.

The technology that will be used on these websites is called Solar. “Different from tradition photovoltaic panelsthose are external factors, our solution includes the right roofing material,” he explains. A few years ago, the Italian government established subsidies for the installation of photovoltaic systems.

However, the incentives are greater for solutions integrated into the roof. Hence the idea of ​​developing a completely flat, walkable solution. “Tegosolar has an aesthetic benefit because it doesn’t stick out from the roof and can’t be seen on the road. It’s also safer because it resists strong winds and is less sensitive to the direction of the sun,” says Peterle. .

Solutions like Tegosolar and traditional PV tiles are important to combine sustainability with heritage conservation, protection and enhancement. “An important aspect is viewing cultural sites, ancient buildings and cities,” said Francesca Giliberto, an architect specializing in conservation and management and a postdoctoral researcher at the University. History is not an obstacle but an asset to reducing our carbon footprint.” Leeds.

“The huge challenge not to damage historic buildings for the sake of contemporary is to use the most creative solutions that respect their values ​​and cultural heritage.”

The role of culture and heritage in sustainable development was officially recognized in the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the United Nations in 2015. However, of its 169 goals, only one The goal is to acknowledge the role of culture in the development process.

“It is modest progress and there is still a long way to go,” said Giliberto. “But over the past five years, the potential of culture and heritage has been widely emphasized by UNESCO and other international organizations. Now, urban planners and policymakers must start thinking differently. go: they must understand that as heritage professionals, they can make a huge contribution to sustainable development.”

The effectiveness of such an approach is demonstrated by the successful experience of Pompeii. “Invisible photovoltaic batteries not only help us cut our energy bills but also make our archaeological park more interesting. So this is just the beginning. From now on, we will take this solution into account for all future renovation and restoration projects.” Zuchtriegel said.

Traditional PV tiles were also installed in Thermopolis and more recently in the House of Vettii. “We are an archaeological site, but we also want to be a real laboratory for sustainability and the value of intangible heritage. Our initiative is not just symbolic. Through the millions of tourists who visit us each year, we want to send a message to the World: cultural heritage can be managed differently and more sustainably,” said Zuchtriegel.

Provided by POCITYF

quote: Camouflaging solar panels into ancient Roman tiles in Pompeii (2022, Dec 29) get December 29, 2022 from panels-ancient-roman.html

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