Date: 9 January 2018
According to estimates made by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the share of global electricity generated by photovoltaics is due to rise from two percent today to thirteen percent in 2030. The installation of solar power systems will play an increasingly important role in this development.
For architects and planners, the integration of photovoltaic systems usually, however, involves a considerable restriction on creative freedom, as PV modules take up a lot of space and are not typically designed for visual appeal.
SWISSPANEL SOLAR from Glas Troesch, on the other hand, shows that photovoltaics can generate power while looking good. Thanks to printing technology developed in association with Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, the PV modules can now be created in many colours.
SWISSPANEL SOLAR makes photovoltaics presentable. With funding from ÜserHuus AG and the Swiss National Science Foundation, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts developed a way to adapt a multicolour image such that it is ideal for use on photovoltaic modules.
The optimised image file is printed onto the premium float glass in a ceramic digital printing process and integrated within the multilayer structure of the PV module as the glass cover.
A wide variety of individually designed images can be applied. Printing has been able to be optimised in such a manner so that it allows for the desired balance of colour saturation and solar module performance to be achieved.
Premium float glass from Glas Troesch is used to produce the PV modules and is finished using the COLORPRINT HD digital printing method. The thickness and quality of the glass can be modified to meet specific requirements – as an example, EUROWHITE low-iron glass can be used to ensure greater colour stability.
The thermal tempering process that permanently burns the colour into the glass at position two results in either a tempered safety glass or partially tempered glass as the final product, which then ideally protects the PV modules and printed images from the elements.
Low expenditure, great effect
The SWISSPANEL SOLAR manufacturing process is simple and cost-effective: the existing layout of the PV modules does not need to be changed, as the printed glass simply replaces the transparent glass.
The minimal expenditure is worth it, as SWISSPANEL SOLAR helps to effectively showcase architecture – while at the same time ensuring sufficient power from a renewable source.
The multicolour PV modules can be used to plan intelligent, creative façades that finally bring life to the otherwise monotonous appearance of solar power systems.