As a government funded initiative, the VEIL solar-shade is a future possibility for the integration of solar-energy harvesting technologies into a form that is pragmatic (providing shade & energy), evocative and educational. Current Australian school curriculums utilize information around consumption and energy as an educational device, and Buro North has designed this interactive concept to explore the visual connection between energy collection and consumption.
VEIL Solar Shade design concept features a broad, uni-directional solar panel surface as a visible face for the structure. Most solar collecting structures position the panels on an elevated surface not visible from the ground, removing visual recognition from the audience.
The structure is rotated throughout the school day to best suit the position of the sun. Markings around the circular base indicate best time-specific direction for shade in the morning and afternoon. The large handle on the shade allows for smooth rotation by children and adults.
The shade area of the structure is extended by the large sail-cloth awning that extends from the solar panel section. The Solar Shades can be arranged in clusters in appropriately sized spaces to create playground shade. The underside of the shade features a dynamic visual feedback system to instantaneously indicate the quantity of energy currently being collected from the solar panels. Correct solar orientation will generate a positive visual message (LED's glow green), incorrect orientation will indicate the low amount of power collection (LED's glow red).