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Aesthetic styling of colored thin film PV façades

From the first of January 2020 onwards, all new buildings in the Netherlands need to meet the so called  “Near Zero Energy Buildings” regulation. Buildings need to produce a large fraction of their consumed energy. Installation of a PV system is an obvious choice. However, this can be challenging for multiple-floor buildings, as the available surface on the roof is small in relation to the floor surface. A solution can be to install PV panels in the façade.

Up to now the choice for architects for different types of PV-panels in terms of color and shape  was rather limited.  Within the framework of the “PV OpMaat” project, an innovative concept of colored PV panels for facades has been developed. Thin film CIGS cells have been embedded within a composite structure. This lightweight PV panel opens up a broad range of new coloring possibilities. Performance monitoring of these modules has recently started on SEAC’s outdoor test facility SolarBEAT. The work is done in cooperation with Studio Solarix and Solliance.

For more information regarding the “PV OpMaat” project click here and for more solar news follow us on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Smart semi-transparent energy generating PV windows

A demonstration façade, composed of transparent PV windows produced by Sunpartner Technologies, has recently been created in the framework of the Interreg project “PV OpMaat”. In this project, a consortium of companies among which Eigenergie.net, NBArchitecten, TGM, Insulation Solutions and Isover work together with SEAC and Solliance on innovative PV solutions for the building industry. The window glass is coated with CIGS, a widely-used thin film PV material. In order to make the window transparent, the CIGS material has been structured with tiny holes, small enough to guarantee a uniform appearance to the human eye.

This technique allows to make very transparent and uniform window glass while still capturing a substantial part of the incident light to generate electricity. The density and the size of the holes also allow to tune the level of transparency.

PV windows are ideal for replacing the traditional glass modules in façades of office buildings. As such they can make a substantial contribution to the energy balance of such office buildings without changing the appearance of the building and without hampering the view from within the building.

For more information about the PV OpMaat project click here and for more solar news follow us on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Colored and textured PV panels: a new approach for aesthetic façade PV applications

Regulations for the energy performance of buildings in Europe are becoming more demanding. This requires innovative approaches for integration of solar energy in the building skin. At the same time, especially for façades, the aesthetic appearance is crucial and the architectural demands are posing a challenge for PV developers.

The prototype demonstrator was built within the Interreg project “PV OpMaat”. The aim of this project is to produce power generating photovoltaic materials, based on newly developed production methods, and tailored in a way that they can be optimally integrated in building elements. In this context, a novel prototype PV façade was constructed at SolarBEAT, the outdoor field testing facility of SEAC. This research evaluates how various textures and colors affect the performance of c-Si and CIGS PV modules and assesses different coloring techniques in order to obtain aesthetically the best possible result.

Solar Magazine also covered the inauguration of the demonstrator with an insightful interview given by our commercial project partners: Eigen Energie, TGM and NBArchitecten, which can be found here.

Results regarding the performance of the prototype demonstrator will be presented in the upcoming EU PVSEC conference taking place in September 2018 in Brussels. For more information about the “PV OpMaat” project click here and for more solar news follow us on LinkedIn by clicking here.