13m High Glass Under Protection

The renovation of the UNO building „United Nations Conference on Trade and Development“ in Geneva shows how today’s production technology makes monumental protection possible also for buildings with glass façades. The 13m high insulating glass units, which in 1971 had been fabricated manually and during an effortful process, had now to be replaced. sedak delivered tempered double IGUs produced fully automatically. The dimensions are still impressive.

It was a spectacular exchange: In 2016, parts of the glass façade of the UNO building „United Nations Conference on Trade and Development“ in Geneva (second headquarters of the United Nations) were replaced. The about 45-year-old glazing had become foggy; some of the glass units had cracked; the bonding of the support structure of the glass façade had aged. Due to monumental protection, the new glass units had to be true to the original, i.e. of the same oversize dimensions. Additionally, the special supporting structure of the building was supposed to be maintained.

The dimensions of the glass units were exceptional for the year 1971. They were manufactured manually out of non-tempered glass and were said to be perhaps the largest units that had been produced by then. Today, sedak provides tempered insulating glass up to 15m manufactured fully automatically.

“To be able to install the glass in 1971, the building envelope was realized as a hanging façade. That principle had to be kept in mind,“ says Ralf Scheurer, who was the sedak responsible for the project. It took the metal constructors (Metallover SA, Carouge/ Switzerland) about four months to check whether the project is possible at all.

Also the color had to fulfill specific requirements: For the UNO building, it was only allowed to use standard float glass (green glass) which cannot be procured as fast as low-iron glass. “We were able to offset the longer delivery time of the raw material with the quick production at sedak,” says Scheurer. The insulating glass units had been manufactured within just a few weeks.

sedak produced a total of nine double IGUs out of 12mm thick basic glass (dimensions: three units in 2.29m x 7.84m, six units in 2.29m x 13.10m). The single glass panes had been produced as heat-strengthened safety glass to guarantee a higher break resistance.

The metal blocks of the old façade were replaced by glass blocks that were attached to the IGUs with a special adhesive. “Before replacing the metal blocks, the contracted metal engineering company had run special material test series in Lausanne. In the end, glass turned out to be the best material for the bonding. That shows once again how versatile glass is,” explains Scheurer.

Logistics and installation

sedak packed the insulating glass units in specially fabricated boxes which were adjusted to the dimensions of the formats and corresponded to the safety requirements with a supporting structure.

A low-bed trailer transported the glass units to Geneva where they were installed with a truck crane and a glass vacuum lifter. In September 2016, the installation was completed.
”Being able to introduce Brazil to the infinite opportunities of a solar industry is a privilege for J.v.G. Thoma GmbH, and one that we are extremely grateful for. At the same time, this placed the ball squarely in our court, and the pressure to get the ball rolling quickly was high. Now that the lengthy initial formalities are out of the way, we can focus on making this project a success.“

The first DESERT solar module production in BRAZIL! Lets go ....
J.v.G. Thoma GmbH is delivering a DESERT turnkey production line to Brazil, the first of its kind and hopefully the first in many breakthroughs to leave the factory floor on their way to the largest country in South America. With a capacity of 30 MW, this is a small semi-automatic DESERT production line, but still a flagship in terms of DESERT solar module production and electricity generation in the country, now fully functional and ready to start with operation.

The machinery consists of DESERT production machines for high-efficiency DESERT solar modules built specifically for extreme hot climate, such as can be seen in deserts or in tropical areas. Made solely in Germany and built using the latest in DESERT and TROPIC module production, the systems inlcudes all cutting-edge technology.

Certified DESERT solar modules, DESERT containers, DESERT power plants and DESERT manufacturing machinery built using pioneering DESERT and TROPICS technology are now fully set up, and ready to perform. But powering on the machinery has been a long time coming. Up until recently, this advanced piece of equipment had been waiting for clearance at a port in Brazil. Now that the formalities have been dealt with, both J.v.G. Thoma and its customer in Brazil can get production under way.

J.v.G. Thoma GmbH is a company whose vision has always been to harness the infinite power of the sun and convert it into an inexhaustible supply of energy. But a vision such as this requires global reach, and this project has opened new doors. Brazil is not only a gateway to South American cooperation, but also the launchpad to international reach and expansion.

Following the delivery of this initial order, J.v.G. Thoma GmbH will be looking forward to an ongoing collaboration with the Brazilian company. From setup and initial training to setting the scene for a ramp up, J.v.G. Thoma will be there to provide expertise and assistance. Moreover, the company will be jointly responsible, along with the client, for the successful integration of the DESERT solar module factory.

In the future, bigger DESERT power plants will be set up on Brazilian soil, and together with existing turnkey production systems, they intend to take up a large share of the products and assets this sector will possess locally. J.v.G. Thoma plans to build up a local network of sales agents that can extend a premium offering to neighbouring countries in South America. Eventually, the company hopes to be able to expand its customer base to clients in North America.

Hans Thoma, general manager from the Thoma-group, is eager to acquire a substantial market share in Brazil, a growing country with tremendous potential for solar energy output. Having complied with local official procedures (Inmetro, TÜV, Fraunhofer CSP) and cleared the way for future business collaboration, he expresses his hope that the solar industry will henceforth expand quickly.

”Being able to introduce Brazil to the infinite opportunities of a solar industry is a privilege for J.v.G. Thoma GmbH, and one that we are extremely grateful for. At the same time, this placed the ball squarely in our court, and the pressure to get the ball rolling quickly was high. Now that the lengthy initial formalities are out of the way, we can focus on making this project a success.“

The first DESERT solar module production in BRAZIL! Let
Source: sedak GmbH & Co. KG