Combining fluorescence and optics gives solace a unique aesthetic, drawing the eye away from the solar cell and into the narrative of light. For the user, the object works within the rituals that already exist in the home environment, and fits with interior design lanugages, making it possible to bring renewable energy directly and seamlessly into daily life.
Early testing of luminescent materials revealed that only some colours concentrate the light and increase the power output of solar cells along the edge. Lava orange was found to be most effective, partly because this more closely matches the solar cell absorption spectrum.
I produced the machined aluminium components manually (without CNC) on a three-axis milling machine and a standard metal lathe. The long edges were designed to house the monocrystalline solar cells and attach to the base of the fluorescent acrylic feature. The turned end caps act as retainer for the electronics, with one end also functioning as a capacitive touch switch.