Genius Foci is a decorative concentrating solar reflector system. It is as much a design process as it is a product. It’s purpose is to increase and balance the energy input of solar collectors using structures and materials that give versatile sculptural aesthetic options.
Genius Foci adapts the concept of a Fresnel mirror to make paving and cladding tiles that create sophisticated solar concentration regimes that can be designed and tuned for the specific geometric layouts of a site. This allows an extraordinary degree of design sensitivity to existing features. This approach opens each design iteration to fresh interpretation that can include the particular needs of each new place.
Each Genius Foci installation is site-specific and forms a hard landscape element or architectural feature that works in tandem with solar collectors such as the Fluent Pillar or SolOpticon. The reflector consists of groundworks and structures that carry sets of facing tiles that can be set onto the ground or mounted on walls. Each tile is a portion of a larger, complete Fresnel reflector. The reflective orientations of the components are calculated in a 3D CAD environment as a whole, which are then cut into manageable units that can be manufactured and handled in situ.
They are installed as paving and/or wall facing tiles. Each tile is faceted to reflect light the desired direction. When in situ the tiles act in concert to reflect light into a pre-defined concentration zone, occupied by the solar collector elements. The cast tiles can be used directly as paving and facing, or they can be specified to act as formers to carry and orient small mosaic tiles, for decorative effect. The tiles may be walked on.
It is very simple in principle, but in practice this solution has only become possible with the advent of 3D modelling and 3D printing technology. The use of 3D printing gives a huge amount of versatility in the forms and patterns that can be used, and there is no additional tooling overhead created by using unique forms. So we can be very creative and subtle in our use of form, from simple, clean geometric concentric orientations, to complex organic and biomimetic shapes.