Solar glass blocks are being developed by the University of Exeter to enable buildings to harness more clean energy. Sunlight touches buildings at nearly all angles, yet renewable resource research is limited to solar roofs and windows. In order to harness more energy, one company is hoping to replace opaque walls with these transparent glass blocks.
Referred to as Solar Squared, these blocks contain optical elements which focus on turning sunlight into usable energy. The blocks are designed to be wired to one another, providing an internal power source that feeds into the building's electrical grid. Clear walls would also allow buildings to illuminate naturally, effectively lowering the use of artificial light. Tints can additionally be placed on the transparent windows to ensure a room doesn't overheat with the increased exposure to the sunlight.