In Every Grade of Color - SCHOTT combines photovoltaic modules and fused colored glasses for the first time ever

Date: 1 December 2008
Source: SCHOTT
The glass group Schott uses photovoltaic modules and fused colored glasses together for the first time ever for the newly designed staircase of its administrative building in Mainz.

The 24-meter high and approximately 200 square meter solar facade not only generates power and, thus, lowers operating costs, but also serves as a well-designed business card for the company, thanks to its striking colors.SCHOTT developed this customized design concept together with Paul Wurdel, a designer and artist from Bielefeld/Germany.

To create this product innovation, 140 artistically designed, “Artista” fused color glasses from SCHOTT were joined together with a total of 195 irregularly arranged “ASI THRU” photovoltaic modules from SCHOTT Solar in Putzbrunn to produce an insulation glass unit.

“What makes the fusing glass “Artista” so unique is the excellent ability of the various glasses to merge together,” explains Udo Ehlers, head of sales for architectural glass at SCHOTT. Thanks to this, Paul Wurdel was able to custom design the individual panes for this project. The designer developed a colorful and rhythmically diversified relief that converts what used to be a rather somber staircase into a colorful world of adventure. Depending on the incident light and angle of view, a watercolor image appears in various color shades. This becomes even more dynamic, when observers move around.

The colored glasses were processed at the SCHOTT plant in Grünenplan: “Combining fusing glass and solar modules for the first time ever posed a unique challenge for all those involved in the project,” reports Hartmut Glenewinkel, who is responsible for manufacturing the melted panes as an application consultant for drawn colored flat glasses at SCHOTT. “We are even more pleased with the excellent results, of course,” he adds.

Glaswerke Arnold, based in Merkendorf/Germany, then produced the complex laminated modules and turned them into a triple-layer insulated laminate. To meet safety regulations, the outside layer of the modules consists of partially tempered glass panes behind which randomly placed solar modules were laminated. A laminated safety glass unit consisting of 2 x 4 mm float glass with a Low-E coating facing towards the outside is located inside the space between the panes. This helps prevent the fused panes of 6 mm “Artista” that face the room from becoming too hot.

The complex structure of the individual panes creates a high quality combination of form and function to offer a modern architectural eye-catcher.

 

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