Blue NUS Baba House goes green with Peranakan-style solar panels, amid rise in demand for solar fittings

Blue NUS Baba House goes green with Peranakan-style solar panels, amid rise in demand for solar fittings

Aesthetically designed solar panels such as those planned for the NUS Baba Home can be ideal for top to bottom installations on structures as Singapore’s demand for green energy rises and roofs run out of space, experts said.


A disadvantage of placing panels vertically means these people get less sunlight, and industry players​ say advanced technology is required before vertical fittings can be widely used.

“Considering the power era of the vertical photovoltaic, to the conventional tilted installation, the power generation is still less, ” said Mr Lim. “So we think the particular technology still needs to be further matured and created before we can see widespread adoption of top to bottom solar. ”

While designs on solar panels can improve aesthetics, efficiency is going to be reduced between five and 25 percent, depending on design plus colour, said Mr Pravettoni.

NUS Baba House’s pleasing modules will likely visit a loss of about 25 per cent on energy absorption compared with plain ones, but Mister Pravettoni said efficiency can be improved by utilizing different material, designs, or designs.

“Colour modules – the real reason why all of us do that is to harmonise (with) building façade. It belongs to an idea of having segments that are trying to fulfill certain aesthetic requirements. In this case, the real novelty is to have repetitive patterns, ” he or she said.

Mister Pravettoni explained that will identical patterns in the Peranakan-inspired panels enable each cell to get the same amount of sunshine, which can help to improve their efficiency and basic safety.

Despite the compromise on energy consumption, he said good looks are important.

“Clearly aesthetics is important whenever it’s on a building because nobody desires a building to be ugly. So you want to have a building which is aesthetically appealing to the surroundings and people may look at the building and say: ‘Wow which is amazing. This is PHOTOVOLTAIC (photovoltaic)? That’s amazing’”, he said, mentioning photovoltaic technology used in solar installations.


While vertical installations and patterned panels are still within their early days, researchers find huge potential in order to integrate these sun installations on the thousands of untapped building facades in Singapore.

“Almost all over the town you have a lot of high-rise buildings and less low-rise buildings. And high rise structures, the vertical surface area is much larger than the roof, ” said Mr Pravettoni.

Aside from attaching solar panels, experts are also looking at adding solar technology into structures, and even along streets.

“Another method is to (replace) a building element like a window with a pv building element, ” said Mr Pravettoni.

“There’s a lot of work still to be done but if all of us achieve this goal, then most of the buildings within Singapore can have photovoltaics integrated in their facades, ” he said.

“Other suggestions are to use (them) as noise barriers such as on the sides of a motorway or even railway to act as protection for the sound and meanwhile producing electricity, and these will also be installed vertically, ” said Mr Pravettoni.