Photovoltaic Solar Awning a Sunny Idea

Sunny Italian cities are often pictured with colorful awnings, and Venice-based designed Michele Marin has a vision of an awning that would not only block the rays of the sun but put them to work in the form of renewable energy.

Molla, the photovoltaic awning, features integrated thin film solar panels that kick out 10% of the energy required to power the average home. That percentage is based on the assumption of 4 hours a day of sun shining directly on the awning, which would allow it to output 0.96 kW h on a daily basis.

Molla Photovoltaic Awning

image via Michele Marin

Molla’s flexible thin film solar cells are mounted to a steel-frame, which means it is lightweight and won’t put anymore of a strain on the wall to which it’s mounted than a traditional awning.

While it’s not exactly the most lovely awning we’ve ever seen, it does seem like a very functional concept, and one that wouldn’t draw too much attention to itself. Especially attractive is the automatic roll-out and retraction feature–powered, of course, by solar energy.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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