Projects

On this page you can find an overview of our current and completed projects. It is a summary of results and cooperation partners. Also gives a picture of our process. The page gives an overview of the status of  current projects. For completed projects there is the ability to download a final report.

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Ongoing projects

SSTM

SSTM aims to develop two different types of shade tolerant PV modules.

BIPVpod

Thin film ‘panels on demand’ applied in BIPV.

PV OpMaat

Colored thin film PV façade elements.

GROENE COMBI

A unique innovative combination of a BIPV roof, insulation and a ventilation heat pump.

SOLAR HIGHWAYS

Solar Highways

A large-scale pilot for the full integration of bifacial solar panels in noise barriers.

ASAP

Capture

ASAP aims to establish a suitable coating with combined anti-soiling and anti-reflective functionality for PV panels.

SolarBEAT

project_image_solarbeat

SolarBEAT is our own outdoor test facility where we conduct independent measurements and innovative research studies in the field of solar power and solar thermal.

PVT inSHaPe

Design, realisation and validation of a number of PVT Heat Pump concepts.

ASM-2

Development of a tool for the design of the future electricity infrastructure using a big-data approach in a GIS model.

Building STeP

The aim of the “Building integrated Solar Thermal and PV” (Building STeP) project is the development of a building integrated multifunctional roof in which generic thin highly efficient solar thermal collectors will be integrated.

FITS4E

Façade panels with an invisible thermal solar collector for energy harvesting.

COOP-STORE

Combination of sustainable energy generation from a solar park and storage with a cooperative district battery.

Completed projects

Here you will find an overview of our completed projects. The projects are arranged according to the year in which they are completed.

Finished in

2017

MOBILITY CENTRE

solarmobilitycenter

Solar Mobility Hub is an autonomous charging station for e-bike sharing based on solar power provided by rooftop solar panels.

EASYCLEAN

voorbeeld_zand_storm

Development and testing of a self-cleaning coating for solar panels.

Finished in

2016

SONOB

capture

SONOB aims to develop solar noise barriers for the infrastructure.

PAS

Integration of solar panels on landfills.

WENSDAK

Research and development of aesthetic building integrated solar thermal and energy roofs.

SUNCYCLE

20151001_165600-selection

A unique innovative project about a highly concentrating PVT module.

OPV2B

Development of innovative applications for thin film PV panels.

AER2

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In this project the project partners Soltech, Heijmans, SEAC and AERspire join forces to research, develop, industrialize and bring to the market the Aesthetic Energy Roof (AER) concept.

Finished in

2015

MLPM

mlpm

In this project we develop two module level power management approaches for heterogeneous PV systems.

ASM-1

asm-1-plaatje

Applying a GIS-based big data approach to solar PV

LIROB

project_image_lirob

Development of a new lightweight roof filling BIPV system.

PV-SIN

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PV-SIN is the evolution of the SolaRoad project with the existing bike path being extended with higher efficiency solar panels.

Finished in

2014

LOCI

Low Cost Integration of solar energy in insulating roof elements for cheap and rapid roof renovations.

SEW

Switchable windows with integrated PV cells.

Finished in

2013

AER

Proof of concept for the Aesthetic Energy Roof.

SSTM

Ongoing project: 2016 – 2018

SSTM aims to develop two different types of shade tolerant PV modules.

The facts in short

  • Two distinct shade tolerant approaches are developed at SSTM
  • Industrialization of the Tessera concept
  • Proof of concept of the SMART module
  • Both approaches will be modeled and field tested at SolarBeaT

Project consortium and partners

SSTM is a collaboration between:

The project aims to determine the feasibility of a scalable, shade tolerant module based on the criteria of manufacturability, industrialization, lifetime and LCOE. The project thereby contributes to lowering the LCOE of modules applied under non-optimal circumstances and so opening up new application possibilities.

ECN and Utrecht University are developing the TESSERA (prototyping) and SMART (proof-of-concept) module technologies. Industrial partners are involved to industrialize and market the technologies, focusing on specific parts of the development. Rimas and Optixolar cooperate with Rofin and Eurotron to optimize cell cutting and handling of mini-cells. Solned develops flexibly patterned backsheets for the MWT module designs and collaborates with Expice to integrate diodes. NXP provides input on integrating IC’s in the SMART module. Heliox develops micro-inverters matching the designed modules. Stafier and Exasun are involved to determine manufacturability and market readiness / system integration of the modules. The project results in full feasibility of the TESSERA concept, including field testing of prototypes, as well as a proof-of-concept of the SMART module technology including lab tests.

Besides a benchmark of currently available technologies on system and module level, two concepts are thus developed, resulting in a proof-of-concept of a SMART module and the industrialization and prototyping of the TESSERA module with accompanying manufacturing methods such as cell cutting, diode integration in backsheets, and specific micro-inverters.

BIPVpod

Ongoing project: 2016 – 2019

In order to make thin-film PV suitable for BIPV applications, a “panel on demand” technique is needed which makes the supply of panels with application specific size and color possible.

The facts in short

  • Within the BIPVpod-NL project we develop three routes to obtain customized thin-film PV “panels on demand”.
  • Based on thin-film PV “panels on demand”, three BIPV concepts are developed.
  • The three concepts are: the AERspire full roof BIPV system, the ReBor prefabricated roof PV system and the WallVision ZigZag façade system.
  • SEAC is the project coordinator, carry out a BIPV market study, assists on the development of the three routes to obtain “panels on demand” and conducts the research for the three prototypes built at SolarBEAT.
  • Solliance helps with the development of the route from commercially supplied semi-fabricates to “panels on demand”, which is the most innovative of the three routes.
  • If successful, there can be a whole new industry which buys thin-film semi-fabricates from Asia and locally processes them to create various shapes, sizes and colors.
  • The duration of the project is 2016-2018.
  • Partners in BIPVpod-NL are: SEAC, Solliance, AERspire, ReBor and Wallvision.
  • BIPVpod-NL is a sister project of BIPVpod-DE. The latter consists of a strong consortium of German equipment and glass manufacturers and research institutions.

Project consortium and partners

Solar Magazine, June 1st 2016

“Thin-film solar panels are manufactured by a limited amount of manufacturers. Moreover, they often produce only one variant. As a result, there are -so to speak- only 3 formats for sale.

Within the project Building Integrated PhotoVoltaic panels On Demand in the Netherlands (BIPVpod-NL), 3 companies and two institutes work together to develop the ‘panel on demand’ technology. The commmon goal is to develop technology for low-cost thin-film solar panels on a custom size and shape (specified by the companies) for integration in regular and prefab roofs and facades.

By buying large quantities of semi-fabricates and processing them in Europe to a final custom product, you offer Europe the opportunity to realize local production. It is an additional step in the chain: from mass production to customized applications. This has a lot of prospects as large thin-film manufacturers are hesitant to step quickly into customized applications. If you manage to create customized BIPV products with cheap mass products, you offer building integration a fair chance.

In 2017, three prototypes will be installed at the SEAC test location SolarBEAT in a test field and will be monitored.”

The full article can be read here.

PV OpMaat

Ongoing project: 2016 – 2019

Development and demonstration of an innovative integrated colored thin-film PV façade system.

The facts in short

  • PVopmaat coloured facade demonstrator will be built at SolarBEAT
  • Facade demonstrator size: about 6m width x 4m height
  • Several PV panel colours
  • Two different PV technologies

Project consortium and partners

PVopmaat colored façade demonstrator is a collaboration between:

Integration of solar panels in buildings more efficiently, with better aesthetics and cheaper. This is the goal of the Interreg-project PVopmaat.

The aim of the project is -based on newly developed production methods- to produce power generating photovoltaic materials tailored in a way that they can optimally be integrated in building elements. Examples of such products can already be found in the market, but the ambition to produce tunable products with specific dimensions as required by the building sector which respond to the new policies and the growing market of building renovations and energy efficient buildings.

The project is carried out by Solliance – the public-private partnership of companies and knowledge institutes that focuses on developing thin-film solar cells, the Dutch SEAC – the leading independent centre for solar energy applications and the Flemish EnergyVille – the energy centre for renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. In addition to the project coordinator TNO, ECN, imec, Holst Centre, Forschungszentrum Jülich, the universities of Eindhoven, Hasselt and Leuven, and ZUYD College also participate in the project.

Groene Combi

Ongoing project: 2016 – …

An innovative combination of BIPV, insulation and a ventilation heat pump for the production of electricity and heat.

The facts in short

  • GroeneCombi is about the combination of a BIPV roof, insulation and a ventilation heat pump.
  • The BIPV roof generates electricity.
  • Research on how much extra heat can be extracted from the BIPV roof.
  • The yield of this product is investigated experimentally at the outdoor test facility SolarBEAT.

Project consortium and partners

Groene Combi is a collaboration between:

The project consortium consists of the coordinator Inventum, Unilin Insulation, Zonnepanelen Parkstad and SEAC. The goal is to develop a combination of a BIPV roof, roof insulation and a ventilation heat pump in an existing building driving the cost of both electricity and gas significantly down. In the PVT concept, the hot air which is created beneath the solar panels under the influence of solar radiation, is used as a source of heat for the ventilation heat pump. The isolated PVT roof is assembled in the factory in order to be readily available for installation on an existing or new building. The projects ends with a functional prototype called “Groene Combi”.

Within this project, SEAC researches the thermal and electrical yield of the BIPV roof in combination with the heat pump. This experimental researc takes place at the SEAC outdoor field testing facility SolarBEAT. Moreover, the yield of a typical home is modelled and optimized.

The ultimate goal of the Groene Combi project is to develop a combination of a BIPV roof, roof insulation and a ventilation heat pump in order to bring the residential cost of both electricity and gas significantly down.

Solar Highways

Ongoing project: 2014 – 2020

A large-scale pilot for the full integration of solar panels into a bifacial noise barrier.

The facts in short

  • Bifacial solar panels are fully integrated in the construction.
  • The construction of the installation is outsourced and is part of a larger project involving several noise barriers to be built or replaced.
  • Solar Highways is the largest installation of solar noise barriers ever built.
  • Solar Highways will provide enough electricity for 40-60 households.
  • Location of pilot installation: A50 in Uden.
  • In the Netherlands there are about 1250 km of noise barriers and dozens of kilometers are added yearly.
  • A successful pilot project will lead to many noise barriers to be turned into solar noise barriers.

Planning

  • Tender preparation: 2016
  • Launch and tender assignment: 2017
  • Start of the solar noise barrier building: 2018
  • Completion of the solar noise barrier: 2019
  • Monitoring: 2019-2020

Project consortium and partners

Solar Highways is a collaboration between:

Project website

More information can be found on the project website: solarhighways.eu.

The Solar Highways project aims to demonstrate the technical feasibility and social, financial and environmental benefits of using solar panels as building elements for noise barriers along highways. This project will make use of bifacial solar cells, which absorb light from both sides and convert it into electricity. This way the solar noise barrier can also be used along roads that stretch north-south without compromising on solar power generation capacity, since it allows light from the east and west to be utilized. As demonstrator, a 400 m long pilot plant will be designed, built and tested along the A50 in Uden. The installation will be monitored for at least 18 months.

Through a benchmark study, a review and evaluation of existing solar noise barriers is conducted. In addition, a techno-financial model is developed to investigate the financial feasibility of a noise barrier with fully integrated solar panels. A good outcome of this project will have a positive effect on the integration of solar cells in noise barriers contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions while improving the sound insulation against excessive noise and the air quality.
The project is conducted by Rijkswaterstaat, ECN and SEAC and is supported by funding from the European Commission within the LIFE+ program.

More information about the project can be found here.

ASAP

Ongoing project: 2017 – 2019

ASAP aims to establish a suitable coating with combined anti-soiling and anti-reflective functionality for PV panels.

The facts in short

  • Testing and quantitive assessment of the benefit of using anti-soiling (AS) coatings on PV panels.
  • Field test comparison of AS coated and uncoated PV modules.
  • Business model for AS coated PV modules in the Netherlands.
  • Identification of the suitable markets for AS coated PV modules in the Netherlands.
  • Analysis of barriers and challenges for the implementation of this technology in a Northern European country.
  • Investigation of the cost benefit of a PV owner by using AS coated PV modules.

Planning

  • Start of the project: 2017
  • Business model for AS coated PV modules: 2017
  • End of the project: 2018

Project consortium and partners

ASAP is a collaboration between:

While the quest to improve cell technology has received a lot of attention and R&D, losses at the module level have largely been ignored by the PV industry. One such overlooked aspect is the glass covering which is the first layer that sunlight has to pass through to reach the cell.

One of the challenges for optimal light absorption is dust adhering to glazing surfaces of solar panels, which considerably reduces the amount of sunlight passing through. Studies in Western Europe showed that depending on location performance losses due to soiling can amount 2 – 10% when modules are not cleaned. With roof top systems located in relatively clean urban areas losses in power output of 2 to 4% are reported. For PV in agricultural areas (also greenhouses) and sound barriers a power loss of 8 to 10% has been reported.

Regular cleaning of modules leads to high operational costs; apart from being time-consuming, cleaning can also be hazardous to the environment, or even corrode the solar panel frame. Therefore, modifications of the surfaces as well as suitable, highly transparent coatings could be a convenient way to prevent these soiling effects. As Anti-Reflective (AR) coatings already exist in the market, and are being used on 80% of the panels sold world-wide , it is an obvious next step to design an AR coating with anti-soiling (AS) properties. One of the biggest challenges is the service life of these surface-active AS coatings. Often, they are exposed to the most demanding weathering conditions or even to abrasive dust impacts.

Within the goals of the ASAP project is to ensure that the coating is durable under real operation conditions by extensively testing it outdoors and quantifying the benefits of using it. Along that, a business model will be created to study the market potential of AS coatings in the Netherlands.

SolarBEAT

Ongoing project: 2016 – …

SolarBEAT is our own outdoor field testing facility where we conduct independent measurements and research innovations in the field of solar energy and solar heat.

The facts in short

  • Analysis of new innovative BIPV products.
  • Architectural integration and electrical integration.
  • BIPV concepts for roofs, façades and hybrid PVT (PV and thermal) systems.
  • Pilot-scale (typically 6 x 5 m).
  • Outdoor performance measurements.
  • Separate measurement locations.

Current status

Research in SolarBEAT started in 2014. Currently (late 2016), there are six separate positions occupied by dummy houses accommodating separate projects. In each project dedicated research is being conducted almost always by a consortium of several parties consisting of companies, research institutions, universities and colleges. Given the great interest in this kind of research, in the beginning of 2017, SolarBEAT was expanded with three additional measuring locations.

Project consortium and partners

SolarBEAT is a collaboration between:

SolarBEAT

Solar Building Elements Application Test site, in short SolarBEAT, is the name of the outdoor research facility in the field of BIPV(T). It is a collaboration between SEAC and the TU/e. From the TU/e side, an active role is played by the Architecture Faculty and the Eindhoven Energy Institute. SolarBEAT is physically located on the Vertigo building of TU/e.

One might think that the various projects simultaneously running at SolarBEAT will be competing with each other. This is, though, not the case. Each project has its own unique proposition for the ever-growing solar energy market. The diversity within the prototypes is large. Consider the following unique features of several projects: a) A combination of thermal insulation and PV panels assembled on pre-fabricated standard components. b) Light-weight construction offering quick (re-)assembly and great aesthetics. c) Full roof solution combining solar power and solar heat. d) PV and solar thermal integrated in one solution on the same roof. e) Combination of PV electricity generation with a heat pump. And many more ideas and project proposals in the pipeline.

At present, SolarBEAT including the expansion to nine measurement locations, has an occupancy rate of nearly 100%. However all ongoing projects have an end date. Therefore, measurement locations will also be available in the near future. If you are working on new innovative BIPV(T) solutions, or you are an architect or project developer having interest in our projects, or if you are student or individual interested in solar energy applications, do not hesitate to contact us.

The ambition of SolarBEAT is to be a global player in the field of solar outdoor performance research.

PVT inSHaPe

Ongoing project: 2017 – …

The aim of the “PVT integrated Solar Heat Pump Systems” (PVT inSHaPe) project is the design, realisation and validation of a number of PVT Heat Pump concepts.

The facts in short

  • Several PVT concepts for PVT Heat Pump systems will be developed and evaluated.
  • Some concepts will be built on SolarBEAT and later on in demonstration projects.
  • System performance will be evaluated based on experimental research as well as dynamic computer simulations.

Project consortium and partners

PVT-heat pump systems produce heat and electricity and are therefore an interesting option for the realisation of energy efficient dwellings for the renovation and building market (nZEB). Currently, there is a lack of knowledge on the integration of PVT and fluid-fluid heat pump systems  into energy efficient user frinedly systems for space heating and domestic hot water. To realise (near) zero energy dwellings with PVT-heat pump systems, an integral system design is required that includes the dimensioning and control of different components and their interaction.

The goal of this project is the design, realisation and validation of several PVT-heat pump concepts (also without ground source), that produce sufficient heat and power for net zero or nZEB dwellings. Several producers of different components work together to realise this. Knoweledge institutes study and analyse the different concepts by means of dynamic system simulations, field testing and heat pump emulation. Also boundary conditions like ease of installation, regulation and techno-financial aspects will be addressed. Last, a number of functional systems in inhabited dwellings will be installed and realised.

ASM-2

Ongoing project: 2017 – …

Development of a tool for the design of the future electricity infrastructure using a big-data approach in a GIS model.

Project consortium and partners

ASM-2 is a collaboration between:

In ASM-2 we use a big-data approach in a GIS model to develop a tool for the design of the future electricity infrastructure. It is a situation in which generation and storage at local, district and central level, variable rates, and capacity of transfer and distribution networks are factors in a system of complex dependencies.

The Dutch Energy Agenda calls for new, more detailed information on indoor energy consumption and at grid level (housing and appliances are becoming important). One of the key issues in the energy transition is an increasing need for flexibility that goes hand in hand with systems and methods to control energy flows. In the future electricity system, users also make decisions that affect control and balancing of the electricity grid. The ASM-2 project builds on the previous projects ASM-1, PICO and CERISE-SG. Partners from these projects (i-Real, Geodan, Utrecht University, ECN) join hands in ASM-2, supported by Alliander.

The big-data approach of ASM-1, bringing databases from different sources on the same GIS base, is now expanded to provide meaningful scenario calculations that create value for network companies, policy makers, prosumers and other public and private organizations. In terms of methodology for connecting information flows, we build on the results of CERISE-SG. The key word in the preface is scenario calculations. This allows questions of the type: “suppose that the prices of electricity and storage are further developing, how would it influence stakeholders to choose between investing in grid upgrades or storage capacity” to be answered. The activities in the project consist of: (1) the qualitative and quantitative supply of information from the databases at the required level; (2) development of input scenarios with regard to renewable energy capacity and potential renewable energy generation (mainly solar and wind), economic growth, electricity demand and tariffs; (3) development of output scenarios from the perspective of the energy system and from the perspective of the end user.

Building STeP

Ongoing project: 2017 – …

The aim of the “Building integrated Solar Thermal and PV” (Building STeP)  project is the development of a building integrated multifunctional roof in which generic thin highly efficient solar thermal collectors will be integrated.

The facts in short

  • Development of a generic thin highly efficient solar thermal collector with the same size as typical PV modules.
  • Development of a building integrated multifunctional roof that includes the aesthetic integration of the new solar thermal collectors, PV modules and a roof window.
  • Installation of the new multifunctional roof on the living lab ‘SolarBEAT’.
  • The performance of solar thermal collectors and the PV system will be analysed.

Project consortium and partners

Building STeP is a collaboration between:

The Netherlands need a transition towards renewable energy. Energy use in the built environment not only consists of electricity, but also of heat. Currently several building integrated PV products are commercially sold. The building integration of highly efficient solar thermal collectors in the same roof as BIPV and windows are often problematic.

The goal of this project is the development of a building integrated multifunctional roof that includes the aesthetic integration of generic thin highly efficient solar thermal collectors, PV modules and roof windows. The emphasis lies on the solar thermal collectors, since these currently are the bottleneck. The new thin solar thermal collectors will be installed in living lab ‘Solar BEAT’ in a multifunctional roof with BIPV modules and a roof window. Knowledge on the performance of the collector prototypes will be measured in the field test as well indoors with a solar simulator. Furthermore computer simulations on electrical and thermal yields for the roof including effects of shading by e.g. a dormer will be carried out. omic growth, electricity demand and tariffs; (3) development of output scenarios from the perspective of the energy system and from the perspective of the end user.

FITS4E

Ongoing project: 2017 – …

This FITS4E project demonstrates façade panels with an invisible thermal solar collector for increased energy harvesting. The performance of the panel is monitored in the outdoor testing facility of SEAC.

The facts in short

  • The FITS project that started in 2014 was aimed at developing a façade that in each case harvests the invisible (NIR part) of the solar radiation. Special nanoparticles have been developed to improve the absorption of white, red and black panels.
  • FITS4E demonstrates different facade panels, further developing system design, measuring performance and disseminating results.
  • At SolarBEAT, test field with 6 different collectors is running, including a white, red and black uncovered collector.
  • After the tests at SEAC, a pilot will be constructed in a house in Eindhoven and a building in Almere.

In 2014 the project ‘FITS’ started, focussing on developing a façade that works by harvesting at least the invisible part (the near-infrared (NIR) part) of solar radiation (roughly 50% of the solar energy). Using specially developed nanoparticles, the absorption of colored panel was proven to be over 50% (white) and even 90% absorption compared to black was achieved for red. A big success, ready to move towards performance testing and demonstration.

This project demonstrates façade panels with an invisible thermal solar collector for increased energy harvesting. ‘FITS4E’ focusses at application development, system design, performance testing, demonstration and dissemination, appending the scope of ‘FITS’. Real life situations will be investigated to show the full potential. The performance of the panel will be tested for a full year at SolarBEAT, the outdoor testing facility of SEAC. Insulation and moisture transport will be monitored to ensure that performance of normal façade panels is met.

COOP-STORE

Ongoing project: 2017 – 2019

The aim of this project is to create a platform that enables a positive business case for central energy storage through benefit stacking (the combination of increased self-sufficiency, grid balancing and energy trading) for all stakeholders involved.

The facts in short

  • Realization of a PV park (1.2 MWp) in combination with a cooperative district battery (500 kWh).
  • Study / modeling of the combination of PV park with district battery for various business models.
  • Research on the impact that a PV park in combination with storage has on the grid stability.
  • Data analysis and modeling of various business models, comparison between residential and district battery.
  • Curtailment minimization through the application of batteries.

Project consortium and partners

In the transition to a fully sustainable and clean energy, storage of energy will play an increasingly important role. Large-scale application of energy storage requires a smart combination of services for various stakeholders: the ability of self-sufficiency, grid balancing and facilitating energy trading.

In the COOP-STORE project, energy storage is combined with a large PV park. SEAC investigates the integration of solar energy with energy storage systems, will compare the technology with small-scale storage, and conduct research into the intended system architecture and techno-financial models to underpin its potential.

The result of this project is the combination of three business models to make energy storage systems commercially viable. By adding energy storage, large-scale roll-out of sustainable energy is possible.

Mobility Centre

Completed project: 2016 – 2017

The Solar Mobility Hub is a self-sufficient charging station for e-bike sharing based on solar power provided by PV modules placed on its rooftop.

The facts in short

  • Rooftop equipped with PV modules
  • E-bike sharing
  • Research on both off-grid and on-grid alternatives
  • E-bikes usage patterns and effect on battery sizing
  • Remote controlled locking system (in the cloud)
  • Technical Key Performance Indicators
  • Research on users social aspects

Current status

At present (autumn 2016), the prototype Solar Mobility Hub has already been built at the TU/e near the Vertigo building. Once the e-bikes are available, a full year outdoor performance testing will be launched investigating both the technical features and the social aspects of e-bike sharing.

Project consortium and partners

The Mobility Centre is a collaboration between:

An important reason for the development of this project is the large traffic jams and parking problems that various companies in the Eindhoven region face (High Tech Campus, ASML / MMC campus, Eindhoven Airport, Health Valley Best, TU/e etc.). By substantial use of various Mobility Centres, this problem can be tackled. In addition, the health of the participants can be improved and there will be a significant positive impact on the environment because of the savings on car mileage.

The goal of this project is the research and development of a Mobility Centre that obtains energy through a roof with integrated solar panels. By utilizing smart regulations and its own energy storage system, the Mobility Centre is nearly operational autonomous. Additionally, the consortium provides knowledge on social aspects in the context of a new business model, organizational structure, usage patterns and acceptance of this innovation.

Future users of the Mobility Centre will be able to reserve an electric bike / scooter via a website or an app. Then the user can pick up his preferred means of transportation from inside the sealed and ‘vandalism-proof’ Mobility Centre. After use, the user places the electric means of transport back and connects it in order to be recharged. The energy management system makes sure that the right bike is loaded and the sun is left to do the rest. No sunlight? Then there are fully-charged batteries fixed to take over the load. No bike? Then, with the help of the sun, the system recharges the batteries of the parking facility.

It all sounds very simple, but still the necessary technological and socio-cultural barriers have to be overcome before the consortium can proceed to the marketing phase. These challenges lie in the area of in-roof solar PV, batteries, energy management systems, e-vehicles charging, smart micro-grid and optimal coupling with the grid. Even socially, there are also all sorts of challenges regarding the acceptance, revenue models and cooperative organization to be settled.

The desired result is a comprehensive answer to the following question: “What are the -scientifically validated- non-technological and technological design specifications needed for the realization of a nearly autonomous Solar Mobility Centre consisting of an in-roof solar PV and an integrated control & energy storage system in regards to the specific needs of e-transport?”.

ZonneGevel

Ongoing project: 2014 – 2017

The yield of PV panels is steadily increasing. This creates new application possibilities such as solar façades.

The facts in short

  • Development of two new PV façades.
  • Optical modelling of solar radiation in the ZigZag cassette.
  • Development of a new micro-inverter.
  • Compliant with regulations regarding BIPV façades.
  • Performance analysis through outdoor monitoring.
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
  • Integration in building processes.

Planning

  • Start of the project: 2016
  • Development of PV façade systems and a new micro-inverter: 2015
  • A full year of outdoor testing and monitoring: May 2016 until April 2017
  • Project completion: 2017

Project consortium and partners

In recent years the use of solar power grew enormously in the Netherlands. Commonly known as photovoltaic (PV) panels, are placed usually on south facing roofs achieving on average maximum annual yield. The falling prices along with the improved technology, however, shifts this focus to other segments such as façades. In those buildings where roof space is limited or does not meet specific criteria, such as industrial, road and commercial constructions and residential highrise buildings, BIPV façades are an attractive option. For PV application in the façade, the integration with multifunctional building components which have both aesthetic and /or construction functions, is essential. The façade is also a key focus for innovation since 2014 according to the joint innovation agenda of TKI Solar Energy and EnerGO. Despite that, good, scalable and cost-effective BIPV applications for façades are currently not available.

In the ZonneGEVEL project, two integrated solar façade concepts are developed which respond to different segments of the façade market: the Solo Wall and the ZigZag Solar. The façade concepts developed by the project consortium are each unique in design flexibility and aesthetic appearance. The project results in a pair of façade BIPV products which alone or in combination can provide power generation without neglecting aesthetics or making compromises in building functions such as water tightness and insulation, and while remaining cost-effective. Each of these concepts has its own innovation challenges which are being addressed in this project. In addition, a number of developments that contribute to the success of the façade concepts are being conducted, focusing on protection against vandalism and the electrical system using micro-inverters. Finally, knowledge is generated in the field of simulation, integration into building processes and testing / monitoring façade concepts.

Herman’s Smart Grid

Ongoing project: 2016 – …

Development of a collective local smart grid.

The facts in short

  • Development of a collective local smart grid
  • Better utilization of existing infrastructure, including local energy storage.
  • Integration of decentralized renewable energy production.
  • Flexibility of energy infrastructure

Project consortium and partners

Herman’s Smart Grid is a collaboration between:

The local power generation is the future, at least in theory. In practice, this is still a challenge. The emergence of many smaller and means of production could in fact create problems of stability of the grid. The main solution to this problem lies in the simultaneity principle of locally generated power directly use locally. The participants in this project are therefore focused on the development of a new smart grid system based on this principle. The idea is simple. The system sends the locally generated electricity physically to the electrical system of the end user in the local smart grid so that power can use immediately.

This new smart grid solution is made possible by the development of an innovative combination of a) power distribution technology for local power can be distributed safely and accurately across multiple local users, b) smart home automation (home automation) technology to understand and influence the energy consumption of the end user is obtained and c) energy storage systems for decentralized energy to store a surplus of electricity at peak times. The companies in the consortium will contribute their self-developed technology and in cooperation with all participants and other stakeholders are going to ensure that the use of almost entirely locally of locally generated power is possible.

EasyClean

Ongoing project: 2016 – …

Development and testing of a self-cleaning coating for PV modules.

The facts in short

  • TriStar, TNO and SEAC develop and test together a self-cleaning coating for PV modules.

Project consortium and partners

EasyClean is a collaboration between:

Within the EasyClean project we develop a coating that prevents dirt and dust from sticking on solar panels, for use by commercial cleaning companies. By preventing dirt, dust or -for example- bird droppings from sticking on the front glass of the PV modules, solar power generated is raised. The coating is based on previously developed coatings by TNO for use in greenhouses for the horticulture.

TNO will develop 5 different coatings, which will be tested in a laboratory environment. The best performing coatings will be tested in an installation of 10 regular PV modules. After the evaluation of possible business cases, the coatings will be tested in at least 3 commercial installations over a longer period of time. The developed coatings and their production are environmentally friendly and safe for users.

The projects partners are TriStar, TNO and SEAC.

PAS

Completed project: 2015 – 2016

By integrating solar panels into the sealing of landfills, space considered as wasted can be maximally utilized.

The facts in short

  • The PAS project researches the PV sealings of landfills.
  • Two projects are developed: Flexible PV panels and rigid glass PV panels.
  • Duration of the project: 2014-2016.
  • Challenges are of technical, economic and regulatory nature.

Project consortium and partners

Public summary

In the Netherlands, there are 1400 hectares of IBC-landfills, of which 850 hectares are to be sealed in the future. These closed landfills could be regarded as “wasted space” and because of the contents of these sites, in very limited cases is a repurposing possible. Despite the great potential of PV sealings at landfills, they are only sporadically used.

The focus of the consortium of this project is:
1. To integrate solar energy in a landfill design and sealing. The application potential is largely determined by the degree of integration between the solar heating system and the top seal of the landfill.
2. Experience in deployment elsewhere. The potential for the development of solar energy in and out of landfills is great.
3. Increase of the renewable energy generation. By implementing large-scale solar in landfills, there is the perspective of substantially increasing the generation of renewable energy.

The application potential is vast: a potential generation capacity of 500 MW and annual CO2 savings of 200,000 tonnes. If it was possible for this new technology to be deployed in other locations, the potential for replication would be great.

The final outcome of the project is the successful PV sealing deployment into landfills.

SONOB

Completed project: 2014 – 2016

Integration of photovoltaic cells in noise barriers serves a double role: sound insulation and energy production by the same element.

The facts in short

  • Living lab prototype built in ‘s Hertogenbosch.
  • 2 solar noise barriers constructed facing due South/North and East/West.
  • Both LSC panels and mono and bi-facial c-Si panels used in the solar noise barriers.
  • Two LSC plates in red and orange colors.
  • c-Si and GaAs cells used in the LSC plates.

Project consortium and partners

SONOB is a collaboration between:

Read more

Read the “Openbaar eindrapport project Solar Noise Barriers (SONOB)” by clicking here.

SONOB stands for Solar Noise Barriers. The SONOB project started on June 1st 2014 and was completed on December 31st 2016. In this project, the project partners SEAC, ECN, Heijmans, Van Campen Industries, TU/e and Dutch Space joined forces to research and develop a solar noise barrier concept.

Solar noise barriers -despite their huge potential- are up to now hardly used in the Netherlands. Approximately 5 million square meters are available at several free of shade locations close to the grid. To utilize these surfaces a breakthrough noise barrier concept is necessary that meets the demands of road users, residents, landscapers, road builders and road authorities and provides both sound insulation and energy generation.

Within this project a breakthrough modular noise barrier concept was developed that adds extra functionalities combining existing noise barrier requirements, robustness, semi-transparency, sound proofing and scalability. This SONOB living lab was installed along a major traffic conduit in the city of Den Bosch and included two noise barriers facing East/West and South/North equipped with two Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSC) with c-Si and GaAs cells and two panels with mono and bi-facial c-Si cells.

The SONOB project aims to develop a breakthrough modular solar noise barrier concept.

OPV2B

Completed project: 2014 – 2016

Development of new applications based on innovative thin-film PV panels.

The facts in short

  • OPV2B develops applications for the construction and horticulture sectors.
  • OPV2B develops applications based on innovative, semi-transparent and flexible thin-film PV panels.
  • OPV2B is a collaboration between 12 companies and universities.
  • OPV2B started in 2014 and run until the end of 2016.

Public summary of the project

Flexible and semi-transparent thin-film solar cells will enter the market the coming years. It is still unknown what properties (colour, transparency, sealing, support materials etc) are ideal for use in the construction and horticulture sectors. Also the integration of the PV systems must be adapted. A consortium of companies want to develop applications for this new technology with the aim to provide innovative solutions for sustainable construction and horticulture. The focus is on applications that on the one hand utilize the characteristics of the PV panels and on the other hand improve the appearance of the building. In addition, cross fertilization will take place between the building sector and greenhouse sector, for example by the application of low cost PV integrated profile systems in both curtain walls and greenhouse covers.

The companies involved are already working on PV projects and wish to distinguish themselves in the market through the development of PV applications. As apart from suppliers and constructors, also end-users participate, applications according to the specifications of the end users can be developed and the first pilot is assured.

In this project, the subcontractors are responsible for developing the application in which universities assist with the integration aspects, mathematical models and product development; Solliance (TNO Eindhoven) develops the specific features using available PV production technology; and SEAC monitors the test arrangements in the Fieldlab environment. There are two end users (housing associations) involved helping in determining the operational requirements, and facilitating the application and the Fieldlab pilot project. Rutges support the companies with preparing the business case taking into account the total cost of ownership of the building. Within the project the following product market combinations are developed:
1) OPV for greenhouse horticulture.
2) OPV shade cloth for greenhouses.
3) Curtain wall construction for renovation purposes.
4) Energy conservatory for single-family homes.
5) Building Wrap / energy tent.
Afterwards the companies determine a new product and they are able to buy materials from any PV supplier on the basis of specifications that they have drawn together.

WenSDak

Completed project: 2014 – 2016

The heat demand is twice as large as the electricity demand. PVT concepts offer a solution.

The facts in short

  • WenSDak includes five concepts for the production of solar power and solar heat on a roof.
  • Five different products are developed by the consortium:
    – 3 concepts for uncovered PVT collectors.
    – 1 concept for a ventilated PV system for drying agricultural products.
    – 1 concept for a side-by-side BIPV and solar thermal roof.
  • The electrical and thermal performance of the systems is investigated experimentally indoor and outdoor.
  • Solar heat has value only if it can be utilized.
  • Computer simulations are used to investigate how much heat and electricity does a typical installation produce under typical conditions.

Current status

Within the WenSDak project, five different concepts for roofs have been developed which produce solar heat and solar electricity. The performance has been extensively studied in a field test and via indoor measurements. Regardless of the fuctionality of the particular system, the aesthetic integration in the roof is of great importance. Besides a good product, a good integration in the energy system and the optimal control strategy is important for the yield of a PVT roof.

Project consortium and partners

WenSDak is a collaboration between:

Read more

Read the “Openbaar Eindrapport project “WenSDak”” by clicking here.

The energy demand in the built environment consists of electricity and heat demands. Normal PV systems convert approximately 15% of the solar radiation into electricity and 75% in unused heat. PV-thermal (PVT) systems use this unused heat in order to heat up a fluid or air. Multifunctional PVT roofs can therefore play an important role in this context and drive the solar power and solar heat market.

Within the WenSDak project, eight companies and three research institutes work together to develop innovative products and knowledge in the field of PVT. In total there are five PVT roofs developed: three uncovered PVT systems, a side-by-side BIPV and building integrated solar thermal roof and a ventilated PV system. SEAC is the project leader of the consortium. Within this project several issues are addressed.

SEAC together with the TU/e and ECN analyzed the electrical and thermal performance of the various PVT roofs along with indoor measurements and a full year of field testing. The field test was carried out on one of the roofs of SEAC’s outdoor test site SolarBEAT. The results were presented in several papers on this website.

The ultimate aim of WenSDak is developing and researching various options to produce solar electricity and solar heat on the same roof.

SunCycle

Completed project: 2013 – 2016

An innovative project on a high concentrating PVT module that produces solar power and solar heat.

The facts in short

  • The SunCycle module concentrates sunlight by using a lens and a parabolic mirror onto a small solar cell.
  • The module is placed stationary; the mirror and lens rotate independently and ensure that sunlight is concentrated.
  • Within this project, the SunCycle module is placed outside and its electrical and thermal performance is measured.

Project consortium and partners

SunCycle is a collaboration between:

The patented SunCycle system focuses the sunlight with a fresnel lens and a parabolic mirror on a high efficiency multi-junction III-V solar cell. Because of the concentration of the light, only a small solar cell is needed. A large surface semiconductor area is thus replaced by a cheaper material which is used for the lens and the mirror. The SunCycle system uses an internal tracking system, meaning that the module is placed stationary and the mirror and lens rotate independently from each other. Apart from electricity, the SunCycle module produces also hot water.

Within the current project, we developed the second generation of the SunCycle module. SEAC has investigated the electrical and thermal performance of both the first and the second generation of the SunCycle modules at the SolarBEAT outdoor test facility. The second generation module reached an electrical efficiency of 20% of the direct sunlight, according to the measurements. In addition, the thermal efficiency curve was analyzed. SEAC has also set up a techno-financial model and has made calculations for the Netherlands and Jordan.

The ultimate goal of the SunCycle project is the development of a second generation SunCycle HCPVT module that performs well both financially and in terms of performance.

AER2

Completed project: 2014 – 2016

The AER concept is a Building Integrated Photovoltaic and Thermal (BIPV/T) technology based on patent pending frameless, junction-box-less, glass-glass laminated with integrated mounting functionality.

The facts in short

  • A Building Integrated Photovoltaic and Thermal (BIPV/T) technology based on patent pending frameless, junction-box-less, glass-glass laminate with integrated mounting functionality.
  • Full roof filling.
  • Unsurpassed high-end aesthetic appearance.
  • Minimized bill-of-materials.
  • Optionally integrated solar thermal panels.

Project consortium and partners

AER2 is a collaboration between:

Read more

Read the “Openbaar Eindrapport project AER2” by clicking here.

AER stands for Aesthetic Energy Roof. The AER II project started on January 1st 2014 and ended on May 1st 2016. It is a continuation of the AER projected which was finalized on December 31st 2013. In this project the project partners Soltech, Heijmans, SEAC and AERspire join forces to research, develop, industrialize and bring to the market the Aesthetic Energy Roof (AER) concept.

The overall objective of the AER II project is to develop, industrialize and bring to the market a revolutionary new concept for a residential roof integrated PV system. The pursued BIPV roof concept has the unique selling points of:

  • superior aesthetics
  • full roof coverage
  • highly flexible functionality for the end user (optional choices such as windows, thermal panels, passive homogeneous panels, high efficiency PV, full-black and coloured modules)
  • low bill of materials by using thin glass, frameless panel design, Jbox-less interconnection and a simplified mounting method without screws, clamps, gutters and covering plates
  • fast and project-specific product delivery by developing a streamlined and local-for-local (European) supply chain
  • high power density by maximizing the packing density of the modules on the roof. At the same time, fundamental know-how on BIPV system performance will be obtained by a focus on outdoor field test experiments.

The ultimate scope of the AER2 project is the development of an innovative, aesthetic, BIPV full roof solution.

MLPM

Completed project: 2013 – 2015

In this project we develop two module level power management approaches for heterogeneous PV systems.

The facts in short

  • Development of DC power optimizer
  • Development of a micro-inverter
  • Field testing of new proto-types in comparison with state of the art standard solution
  • Accelerated lifetime testing based on international standards
  • Benchmark with state of the art
  • Techno-financial model for end user

Project consortium and partners

Read more

Read the “Benchmark report MLPM” by clicking here.

We are standing at the brink of a huge expansion of installed PV capacity in The Netherlands and Europe. Most of this newly installed capacity will be realized in the built environment. One of the issues to be dealt with in this respect is the issue of heterogeneous systems. Heterogeneous PV systems are PV systems in which modules differ in performance due to different orientation (for instance East-West systems), different grades of pollution (for instance due to birds’ nests) or different shading patterns (very common in the built environment).

In this project we develop two distinct approaches that may result in 20-30% more kWh yield of heterogeneous PV systems. One of these approaches is based on module level dc-dc conversion, the other on a micro-inverter approach.

The project will develop the two approaches up to the level of functional prototypes with proven lifetime performance and efficiency. Furthermore the project involves the set-up and execution of a field test with extensive monitoring of the performance of the MLPM systems.

ASM-1

Completed project: 2014 – 2015

Read more

Read the “Advanced Solar Monitoring: Phase 1 (ASM-1)” by clicking here.

In the project ASM-1, we were able to bring data sets from different sources onto the same GIS base i.e. create BIG DATA. This helped us to draw area related conclusions for the pilot area around Apeldoorn. It was found that about 1.61% of the total electricity consumption is covered by PV in the pilot area for the domestic sector. Therefore, there is scope for filling this gap. Grid operators would have to keep track of all the ongoing installations and be able to manage the feed–in and the consumption and consumers will be able to understand and forecast the generation of solar power as a function of place and time which will enable smooth management of supply and demand

We performed a new analysis of PV potential based on the AHN elevation data. The calculations showed that the city of Apeldoorn has great PV potential in its residential sector. Based on an average electricity consumption of residential houses in Apeldoorn of 3500 kWh/yr, the potential electricity that could be generated would be able to cover the electricity demand of the city completely and even produce more. But proper measures have to be taken to sustain the grid at all times. Power generated from PV is greater in the summer compared to winter months where electricity consumption increases. This calls for proper energy management to store/sell the excess produced in the summer. Time resolved balancing will require a combination of demand steering (variable tariff setting) and storage.

LIROB

Completed project: 2013 – 2015

Development of a new light-weight full-roof BIPV system.

The facts in short

  • Full-roof BIPV system.
  • Frameless PV modules.
  • Newly developed mounting concept.
  • Cost effective.
  • Both for renovation and building construction projects.

LIROB

The project aims to develop a new light-weight BIPV system for pitched roofs. This BIPV system is based on frameless building blocks of PV and a newly developed mounting concept. The aesthetic aspects of the system are also very important: the total available roof area is visually completely filled. This new PV system will make possible a systematic and also flexible approach for roofs with inconsistent sizes and obstacles.

The light-weight aspect is important because of its low cost, easier handling of the modules and often the limited roof load. The new “glass roof” system is ideally suited for both renovation projects and new building constructions. The development program includes field testing of the system, qualitative testing of the components, and the development of a technical and financial model focusing on the construction sector and property owners among whom housing associations and investors.

PV-SIN

Completed project: 2014 – 2015

PV-SIN is the evolution of the SolaRoad project with the existing bike path being extended with higher efficiency solar panels.

The facts in short

  • Integration of solar panels (PV) in roads.
  • Experimental tests in the test location (SolaRoad) in Krommenie, North-Holland.
  • Sufficiently secure transparent top layer.
  • Techno-financial modelling.
  • Combination of technical, economic and legal issues.

Het consortium, de partners

PV-SIN is a collaboration between:

PV-SIN studies the technical challenges of integrating PV in roads. Experimental tests take place in the test location (SolaRoad) in Krommenie, North-Holland. The most important challenge therein is to develop efficient durable modules consisting of a sufficiently secure transparent top layer with integrated PV.

Within the PV-SIN project, SEAC will develop a techno-financial model with the objective of calculating for various revenue models the return on investment. In this model the following parameters are taken into account:

  • The yield of the PV technology (kWh) in a road integrated application. Various technical options are included, e.g. whether or not local storage should be used. The revenue model takes into account various input parameters (solar radiation data, temperature, shadowing and maintenance parameters, etc).
  • Investment and maintenance.
  • Market value of the electricity generated.
  • Impact of tax and incentive schemes.

The revenue models being developed must also take into account the legal separation of the road operator and the electricity producer. The top layer of the road is formally the responsibility of the road authority. But this does not mean that the road authority is the party which will sell the produced electricity.

The combination of technical, economic and legal issues, makes the development of the techno-financial revenue models a major challenge, which SEAC gladly takes over.

LOCI

Completed project: 2013 – 2014

Low Cost Integration of PV in insulated roof elements for cheap and rapid roof renovation.

The facts in short

  • Project duration: 2013-2014.
  • Partners: Zonnepanelen Parkstad, Unilin Insulation, SEAC.
  • Integration of frameless thin-film PV solar panels in insulated roof elements.
  • Aesthetically pleasing result.
  • Cost reduction compared to regular PV systems of more than 20%.

Project consortium and partners

Read more

Short description of the report

The report is six pages long and contains the background, methodology and main results of the project. The report was published in February 2015 and was written by Menno van den Donker in consultation with Burkhart Hauck, Roland Valckenborg, Kostas Sinapis, Wiep Folkerts, René Borro and Wolfgang Passlack.  

Download the “Dakrenovatie met behulp van innovatieve PV isolatie elementen” by clicking here.

Public final report

The LOCI project ran from January 1st 2013 until December 31st 2014. The project was carried out by Zonnepanelen Parkstad, Unilin Insulation and SEAC. The LOCI project has successfully developed a PV insulation element which was used in a field test. Also a techno-financial model was developed to identify market opportunities for this product. Through the combination of roof renovation, roof insulation and PV system, these PV insulation elements can reduce the energy index of the Dutch land-based houses with more than 1.0 and significantly improve the energy label (eg from label E to label A). By combining roof covering, roof insulation and PV functionality in one product, the roof renovation processes are significantly reduced and the overall system costs can be decreased by 20%. The annual energy savings in heating and electricity for a PV insulation element is about 1500 euros for an average household. An internal rate of return of nearly 10% can be achieved on the initial investment.

SEW

Completed project: 2013 – 2014

Smart Energy Windows – smart switchable window with integrated PV.

Project consortium and partners

Smart Energy Windows is a collaboration between:

Read more

Read the “SEW openbaar eindrapport” by clicking here.

Within the Smart Energy Windows (SEW) project, which began in October 2012, Peer+, SEAC and ECN have worked together to further develop a switchable glass based on crystal liquid technology, and to design and analyse various pilot projects. The glass can be switched between a transparent and a darker state. Using Smart Energy Windows in the built environment can lead to energy savings by keeping heat outside during warm days and by letting more light to pass on dark days, and to increase confort by reducing glare and overheating. Thanks to the integration of solar cells (PV) in the window, the product has no external cables which need to be connected in contrast to other switching windows. Aim of this project is the further development of window integrated PV and associated electronics with the goal to achieve energy autonomy for the reference case of Madrid.

The first step in the project was to develop a production version of the electronics for the Peer+ smart window product. Next, a number of prototypes greater than the 1 m2 of the first generation Smart Energy Window were produced. Two prototypes were installed in a field test at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. In this test field, the autonomy of the window has been studied. The conclusion was that autonomy can be reached for windows in similar size facing south in the test field in Eindhoven. Furthermore, the energetic performance of a room equipped with Smart Energy Windows was examined and compared with a reference case.

Within this project, both a meeting room of KIC InnoEnergy and another of the municipality of Eindhoven were equipped with Smart Energy Glasses. The feedback was very positive, but the first pilot project showed that the red glare that the glass radiates and the light scattering in the darker state of the window can be further improved. In the second pilot project these issues have been resolved and the user could no longer notice them.

AER

Completed project: 2012 – 2013

The Aesthetic Energy Roof is an innovative concept aiming to the realisation of a water-proof roof with a minimum bill-of-materials. Within the AER project, the proof of concept was investigated.

The facts in short

  • The project ran from 2013 until 2014.
  • The project was a collaboration between PPM, Mate4Sun and SEAC.
  • The results were positive, water tightness and yield were very good.
  • After completion, Mate4Sun and PPM started a joint venture called AERspire.
  • AERspire has patented the concept.

Project consortium and partners

AER was a collaboration between:

Read more

Short description of the report

The public final report is 4 pages long and was written by Menno van den Donker and Esther Philipse. It describes the background, methodology and main results of the project. It was published in February 2014.

Download the “AER opnebaar einrapport” by clicking here.

Public final report

The project AER (Aesthetic Energy Roof) is the first project that was successfully completed within the Dutch Topsector Solar Energy. In this project, which began in October 2012, AERspire BV and SEAC worked closely together to develop a new type of building integrated photovoltaic roof concept. The AER concept includes a complete roof solution that combines low material with high aesthetic value. Within the project, a functional prototype was developed and then its technical and building aspects were examined by testing it in a test field. Finally the first demonstration roof was delivered. The research results were published in the EUPVSEC conference in Paris in September 2013. The concept received attention from the construction company Heijmans which developed the BrightHouse design with it. The project partners look back on a very successful project with good market prospects.