Diamante is a next-generation solar power plant, developed together with the University of Pisa

"Il Diamante" ("The Diamond") is a new generation solar power plant designed and developed by Enel's Research department and the University of Pisa.

Its architectural design allows it to blend harmoniously into the delicate and diverse natural landscapes in which Italy is so rich.

Mounted on the faces of a geodesic dome structure popularised by R. Buckminster Fuller, the solar panels generate electricity that can be stored in the form of hydrogen to be used when the skies are overcast.

The whole structure is brought together by a construction of huge proportions made of prefabricated glass and steel, creating a new type of functional power plant whose striking appearance achieves an harmonious balance between architecture, technology and nature.

The first Diamante installation will be seen at the Villa Medicea in Pratolino, near Florence.

The Diamond is composed of a sphere, with an 8-metre diameter. Thirty-eight polycrystalline silicon solar panels are arranged on the crown and the south-facing side. The remaining surface is covered with glass panels to protect the structure against the wind.

Inside, in three spheres, each 2 metres in diameter, there are hydrogen storage tanks, using the advanced technology of metal hydrides. The plant can generate enough electricity to meet the energy demands of a small apartment block.

A versatile, dynamic structure, the Diamond is easy to dismantle and reassemble, and will be a test bed for the latest developments in solar power technology, a field which is likely to be the target of intense research over the next few years, as new systems come onto the market.

CO2 Neutral