Wise utilization of today’s new solar energy technologies provides buildings with new aesthetic value which is no longer in conflict with efficiency in solar energy conversion. We outline the criteria for incorporating solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal (ST) technologies in the building design in Sicily’s built environment. Better education in solar energy and in solar architecture of architects and civil engineers, as well as better communication efforts of solar energy companies, will be instrumental to afford the long-awaited local and global boom in the adoption of building-integrated PVs.
About the authors
Rosaria Ciriminna is a chemistry scholar in the top 1% of most cited chemists based at Palermo’s Institute of Nanostructured Materials of Italy’s Research Council. Her widely published research in the field of green, nano- and photochemistry is developed in cooperation with several research groups worldwide. Her interest in solar energy is reflected in books, articles and educational activities besides the graduate and undergraduate students mentored every year.
Francesco Meneguzzo is a physicist based at Florence’s Institute of Biometeorology of Italy’s CNR where he coordinates a research group active in a vast field of research domains, including energy, propulsion, agri-food processes and geophysics. His recent achievements include the development of an entirely clean production and sanification process applicable to liquid foods based on the hydrodynamic cavitation technology. As weather forecaster he has established Tuscany’s Regional Met Service (1996–2002), later to become the well-known LAMMA weather forecast centre. Currently, he chairs the organization committee of SuNEC 2016 conference on solar energy.
Lorenzo Albanese is a researcher at the National Research Council’s Institute of Biometeorology based in Florence, where he works along with Dr Meneguzzo at several research projects aimed to reduce the energy input, and improve the outcomes, of new food processing technology. His recent articles on the great solar boom detailing the progress and impact of solar PV technology has been widely covered by the press.
Mario Pagliaro, co-founder of Sicily’s Solar Pole, is a chemistry and solar energy scholar based at Italy’s CNR. His research group achievements include 150 research articles, 20 books and numerous book chapters. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Mario’s research interests are in the broad areas of nanochemistry, solar energy, sustainability and management. Between 2011 and 2015, he has chaired the “SuNEC-Sun New Energy Conference” and the “FineCat-Symposium on heterogeneous catalysis for fine chemicals” held every year in Sicily. Since late 2015 he is the president of Palermo’s municipality energy company AMG Energia.
This article is dedicated to Francesco Liuzza and Mario Pecoraino, eminent solar energy pioneers, who enabled the large-scale utilization of solar thermal technology in Sicily’s buildings in the last decade.
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