All over the world, cities are growing and their appetite for energy is increasing. New concepts for solar building construction and renovation are in high demand. Sunways AG presented intelligent solutions at this year’s Bauhaus.SOLAR Congress in Erfurt that could turn building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) into a key technology in the energy supply and management of the buildings of the future.
Sunways, a leading solar technology company based in Constance, took part in the fourth international scientific congress as a gold sponsor with its own exhibition stand. But it also played another role at the event, whose organisors include the Bauhaus University Weimar with its focus on architecture and design. Sunways specialist Stefan Fischer gave a talk that encouraged the exchange of ideas between the approx. 350 experts present from the architectural, construction and solar industries.
The engineer and project leader spoke, amongst other things, on the topic of solar activation of building envelopes: "In our cities there are more and more ways in which we can use façades to generate solar energy - the sky is literally our limit," said Stefan Fischer. "Coloured and transparent solar cells from Sunways can either be integrated into shading elements or assume some of the roles of the building envelope when incorporated into solar modules. Even façade surfaces that are not ideally oriented still can be used in a way that makes economic sense nowadays thanks to falling system costs and improved links with other green technologies such as heat pumps."
Building-integrated photovoltaics also opens up a world of new possibilities in terms of architectural aesthetics, as demonstrated by Sunways at the exhibition. The company unveiled silicon solar cells in different colours, shapes and transparency grades that provide great scope for individual design. A current example of the use of emerald-coloured Sunways Solar Cells is Quai de Valmy 179, a residential building in Paris that recently underwent a comprehensive renovation overseen by architect Emmanuel Saadi and now includes a solar façade.
"Sunways has paved the way for building-integrated photovoltaics from the word go. So it's only logical that we regularly take part in the Bauhaus.SOLAR congress," said company spokesman Dr. Harald F. Schaefer in Erfurt. "We are convinced that the experience we have gained from a wide range of flagship projects will also contribute to the economic success of building-integrated photovoltaics. The niche market of today has the potential to become a market of tomorrow."