This is my first post in a weekly series where I will be sharing my journey into the niche market of colored solar panels by describing my experiences working in this industry. My name is Martina and I have just taken on the role of Digital Content Editor here at Kameleon Solar.
Colored solar in BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaics) can be a daunting topic because it requires a very strange mix of professional knowledge. You need to know about art, graphic design, and color theory on the one hand, but also architecture, construction, and product development on the other. At the same time, on the third hand, you need to somehow grow, you need to know about solar panels and electrical installation. Not only do you require some knowledge in all of these and more, but you need to know how they affect one another.
But don’t worry if you don’t have a strong background in all those subjects, I’m a newbie to them myself and that is exactly why I am writing these articles. I want to take you with me on a journey as I discover the facts on this strange blend of art, design, architecture, and technology. Whether you’re a veteran architect, a budding PV engineer, an inquisitive product designer, or simply interested in beautiful solar applications, I’m certain you will find new inspiration as we go.
Today I wanted to start by introducing myself and the company I just started working at.
I have always loved beautiful things, mostly the ones offered by nature and its amazing colors, which inspire the human race and its art.
As a child, I used to run through the Tuscan countryside, between the Chianti hills and the ridge of Pratomagno (“great meadow”), both of which delight the eye during the changing seasons with their stunning colors. I grew up just a few kilometers from Florence, the cradle of Renaissance art and architecture. As a teenager, I moved to Rome, which is a chaotic city, but it just continuously surprises you with its majestic beauty and its eclectic mixture of Roman and Baroque architecture, not to mention the museums displaying works of art by all the great masters.
Living in Madrid, for my Erasmus, I used to visit the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía regularly, I could just never get enough of Picasso and Dalí’s masterpieces.
I have been lucky to live in these beautiful places, and I feel even luckier now that I live in the Netherlands; the native country of Vincent van Gogh, one of my favorite artists, who has a wonderful museum dedicated to him in Amsterdam. I even live in the city where Rembrandt was born, Leiden.
So, when I walked into the Terrarium a few weeks ago, the interestingly named conference room where I was going to have my interview at Kameleon Solar, I saw van Gogh’s self-portrait (1887) ON a solar panel, and next to it the Johannes Vermeer painting The Milkmaid (ca. 1659) ALSO on a solar panel, and I thought “Well, I might just be in the right place”. The subsequent, genuine conversation with Kevin, Creative Director, and Guust, CEO, confirmed this hunch and has now resulted in me writing this blog. Guust pointed out that respecting nature is the only way to earn a spot in paradise, and Kevin highlighted how uniquely they were pursuing sustainability, by making it beautiful. As I see it, this is just the coolest thing ever!
About Kameleon Solar
So, what does Kameleon Solar do, anyway? Kameleon Solar designs and manufactures custom-made colored solar panels, providing a variety of products that are suitable for many BIPV (once again, Building Integrated Photovoltaics) solutions, especially façades.
The renewables industry is rapidly evolving and there have been significant developments in the solar energy sector, especially in the Netherlands, where many companies are working on new technologies.
Nowadays, we find ourselves in the middle of an unprecedented climate crisis. We all know how important it is to find alternative lifestyles to make our presence more sustainable for the planet. The message is clear, perhaps overly so, and it makes us perceive the energy transition as something that we just must do. This turns it into something heavy, boring, and even tiresome, like some annoying homework assignment that has been enforced on us and we haven’t finished yet.
Kameleon Solar’s mission is to make us feel excited again, to show us that there is a different path to sustainability, by making it attractive, and therefore desirable. To make us rediscover our intrinsic motivation for choosing sustainable technologies because we want to do it, not because we feel we have to. This way, we can feel inspired again to become the protagonists in our own energy transition. Kameleon Solar is doing something special, the beautification of solar, the art of solar! After learning this during my interview, how couldn’t I join this mission?
This was just an introduction, and there is so much that I want to share with you that I’m going to split my first week into two other, separate posts in the coming days.
More colorful days to come, stay tuned!