German project puts film and silicon solar cells side-by-side

October 06, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
The Heliafilm installation will generate 2MWh of energy per year
Lechwerke (LEW) in Augsburg, Germany, is putting flexible film-based solar panels alongside existing silicon ones to give a direct comparison.

The building has now been upgraded with the BiOPV (Building Integrated Organic PhotoVoltaics) system using the HeliaFilm organic flexible cells from German developer Heliatek. Over the next few years, the resulting test platform will be used to measure the output of the organic photovoltaic films in a direct comparison to the silicon technology.

LEW is a regional energy supplier owned by innogy SE and now has two areas of their southern façade have now been equipped with fibre cement elements covered by HeliaFilm. A total area of 56 m² with an installed capacity of 2.43 kWp is expected to deliver an estimated yield of about 2 MWh per year. The film also reduces the building's carbon footprint by 20 g of CO 2 per generated kWh.

"We test new, innovative technologies in practice and we are convinced that this pilot project will also provide valuable insights and new potentials for the future of photovoltaics," said LEW's Member of the Board, Norbert Schürmann.

In previous projects (see below), Heliatek has demonstrated that existing buildings can be upgraded to the film-based cells with far less effort and cost when compared to conventional PV modules as the  films are integrated directly into the building material at the factory of façade element producer SVK. They are then simply connected at the construction site and the low weight of the films (1 kg/m 2) allows for an easy and low-cost integration both on new and existing façades. 

"Energy production on the façade is our core focus. For us, the renovation market is one of the most important target markets. With innogy SE and SVK, we have long-term partners which will support us reaching into the B2B market," said Thibaud Le Séguillon, CEO of Heliatek."

www.eliatek.com

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