In the never-ending quest to create sustainable energy, an innovative solution has been designed and implemented in a desolate town: Pompeii. More of the city is unearthed and explored all the time and attracts millions of annual visitors. Now, the historic site is adding a modern twist of rooftop solar panel shingles. Garry Shaw at The Art Newspaper has more.
Ancient Roman ruins at Pompeii have been fitted with invisible solar panels, in a move that will ensure the archaeological site’s sustainability and cut costs. The innovative panels, which blend into the background by imitating traditional materials, were installed on the House of Cerere, on a thermopolium—a Roman snack bar—and on the House of the Vettii, which recently reopened following 20 years of restoration work.
“They look exactly like the terracotta tiles used by the Romans, but they produce the electricity that we need to light the frescoes," says Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the director of the archaeological park of Pompeii, in a press release.
The invisible solar panels—or traditional PV tiles as they are technically known—were created by the Italian company Dyaqua. They can be designed to appear like stone, wood, concrete or brick, so can be hidden on walls and floors, as well as on roofs, says Dyaqua’s Elisabetta Quagliato.The Art Newspaper
It makes perfect sense to retrofit a historic site with a sustainable upgrade like this. By taking the extra time to mimic the look and feel of the historic rooftops, this location will look no different. The photos of the shingles on the Newspaper's site are impossible to see as solar panels. They're curved and have the telltale color of terracotta pieces. When the environment is a forefront concern for organizations, the mitigations put in place help ensure sites like this stay around for a long time. Every little bit to help stop climate change makes a difference.