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The Facade as an Energy Producer
Combination with Classic Materials Possible
Up to now, photovoltaic modules have normally been fitted to roofs. With the world innovation by StoVerotec, there is now an easy-to-use product solution for the facade, which connects reliable thermal insulation and protection from the weather with more environmentally-friendly energy production. The module, which can be integrated into a curtain, rear-ventilated facade, can be combined with high quality surfaces such as glass, natural stone or plaster, thus enabling an individual design of the facade. The innovative sandwich element was developed in a joint research project of StoVerotec GmbH, Würth Solar GmbH & Co. KG, the Zentrum für Sonnenergie- und Wasserstofftechnik, Stuttgart, and the Institut für Baubetriebswesen at the TU Dresden. The two companies involved are now marketing the new facade module under the product names of “StoVerotec Photovoltaic” (StoVerotec) and “ARTLine Invisible" (Würth).
The innovative facade panel is based on the thin-film CIS technology from Würth Solar. In comparison to conventional crystalline photovoltaic cells, this technology has an even, homogenous surface, therefore offering more usage potentials in architecture. The panels have a fine pin-strip appearance that is only visible close up. In addition, these can be dyed differently. Due to the higher light reflection, however, you must accept a lower degree of efficiency with dyed glass. As a rule: The darker the colour, the higher the loss in performance. StoVerotec offers the panel in a size of 1.2 x 0.6 metres or 0.6 x 1.2 metres in anthracite and in four other colours, each with three shades.
When manufacturing the facade elements, the photovoltaic modules are bonded to a foam glass resin carrier plate and connected to a sandwich panel as a result. During assembly, the carrier plate is simply hung in the substructure. The connection to the electricity grid is made using the air gap between the wall insulation and the curtain panel. As the fastening elements are not visible in the front view, the result is a very homogeneous appearance of the facade. The photovoltaic elements can be individually replaced for maintenance and repair work. According to StoVerotec, the average annual energy yield of a module is approximately
700 kWh energy per kWp. Depending on the selected colour, this corresponds to an annual power yield of 55 to 80 kWh per square metre.