The project

Design and multi-functional urban furniture powered by solar energy

Produced in collaboration with the design agency Métalobil and Libre Energie, the intelligent solar bench is an original urban furniture integrating ASCA® photovoltaic modules. Installed at the King Adballah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), it offers a double resting space where one can lean or lie down. For this structure, the ASCA® photovoltaic film was a true source of inspiration for Metalobil, which created an object that reflects the flexibility and winding of the modules, and also the sun, an inexhaustible source of energy. The result is a piece of furniture that works with sunlight, whose circular shape is thought as an element that can be interlocked to repeat its geometry in an infinite way, without beginning or end.

Thin and flexible, 6 transparent ASCA® modules integrated behind polycarbonate plates follow the curves of the structure. They produce electricity stored in a battery located under the seat for a 100% autonomous furniture. Users can recharge their electronic devices via two USB ports. Highly sensitive to light, the ASCA® film also detects the decrease in light at dusk, which automatically switches on the bench lighting thanks to LEDs integrated into the structure.

Design freedom

This structure with its original shapes perfectly illustrates the wide range of possibilities offered by ASCA® solutions. The great freedom of design, shapes and colors allows to conceive intelligent street furniture which harmonizes with the architecture of the cities.

"One of the unique properties of organic photovoltaics (OPV) is their semi-transparency. This characteristic leads to many new opportunities for applications in building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) such as glass windows, greenhouses, architectural structures or even as we see here, a solar bench for KAUST campus."

Dr Derya Baran, Assistant Professor of Material Science and Engineering - KAUST
Smart solar bench