Integration Strategies of Luminescent Solar Concentrator Panels: A Case Study in Florence, Italy

  • Lucia Ceccherini NelliEmail author
  • Giada Gallo Afflitto
Part of the Innovative Renewable Energy book series (INREE)


The paper deals with few solutions for the integration of a luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) realized with color dye-sensitized solar cells, some of them produced by ENI Donegani Institute and analyzed by Politecnico di Milano. By this paper, we want to show the versatility of LSC panel either on the facade of a building or on urban lighting.

luminescent solar concentrators have the capability to produce electricity on transparent surfaces [1], to be used in architecture, and to be integrated into the building envelope, such as in vertical walls [2]. These panels do not need to have south-oriented surfaces because LSC panels are perfect in the presence of diffused light and their performance does not decrease during this condition [3]. The visual effects of the dyed LSC integration are analyzed to find the potential use of such a component in the built environment.

A typical LSC panel consists of three elements: a layer containing fluorophores (fluorescent molecules), a waveguide plate in PMMA or similar, and lastly solar cells along the edges of the plate. Peculiarities of these panels are: a brilliant colour, transparency, lightweight system good for building integration, use of direct or diffuse light, no heat production, use of low-cost materials, and 10% efficiency, and they also glow during the night with their own colourful light.

It is also a feasible alternative to the classic PV solar panels. LSC panels can show identity value, sense of belonging, and iconography which is so much needed in an iconic building like university residence “M. Luzi,” in Florence. By four project ideas, we demonstrated the versatile usage of these panels; furthermore, we made a comparison, for equal dimensions, between same efficiency LSC panels and Si-polycrystalline PV panels [4]. In a similar context, like the service industry, even an industrial building can evolve by changing the nature of a sad and empty suburb. LSC panels can be used for public urban lighting and also traffic lights.

The LSC panel integration in the building envelope can contribute greatly to produce electricity and characterize the envelope through transparency and color [5]. However, during the planning stage, it is necessary to focus on the internal and external context of the building. This is because LSC panels are characterized by very bright colors such as yellow and red (which have been commonly used up until nowadays). The usage of these colors can occur into a visual discomfort and dazzling light if they are not used correctly.


LSCs Urban lighting Green power Concentrator photovoltaics 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture DIDA – Centro ABITAUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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