Photovoltaics specialist Belectric OPV GmbH and construction paint and insulation system manufacturer Deutsche Amphibolin-Werke SE (DAW) have partnered to develop building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products incorporating organic photovoltaics (OPV) into different construction product-lines and their respective components. The department of Architecture, division Design and Energy-Efficient Construction, at the Technical University of Darmstadt, headed by Prof. Manfred Hegger, is advising the cooperation partners on issues relating to construction technology and design. The aim of the cooperation is to develop finished construction elements capable of generating electricity, thereby breaking new ground in the field of building-integrated photovoltaics.
The development of these new elements will enable photovoltaics to be incorporated into construction projects without increasing complexity or workload and a uniform appearance may be created throughout the architecture. Moreover, the photovoltaic construction elements deliver greater functionality that would otherwise need to be provided by additional conventional construction parts.
The integration of photovoltaic components in buildings represents a step into the future, and the demand among system providers is correspondingly high. Accordingly the cooperation between DAW and Belectric OPV is built upon this high level of interest. The organic photovoltaic components are integrated directly into the facade insulation systems produced by DAW, representing a further cornerstone in DAW’s long-term sustainability strategy. In May 2012, DAW won the “Hidden Champion” SME prize awarded by German broadcaster n-tv in the Sustainability category.
“DAW has set itself the objective of assuming a pioneering role in the field of sustainability. The construction industry in particular offers a huge amount of potential through the use of energy-efficient product systems. As a result, this cooperation represents the ideal match for our longstanding, eco-conscious corporate philosophy,” explained Dr. Helmut Plum, member of the DAW Executive Board responsible for R&D and Purchasing.
“To date, solar power generated from buildings has been produced almost exclusively by roof-mounted systems. Generating solar energy via finished construction elements forming part of the building shell represents the next key step. Belectric OPV has the technical know-how to provide the specially modified OPV components for the project. Our ‘Solarte’ line is the ideal product to integrate into high-quality construction products such as those produced by DAW. These products allow users to make an active contribution towards protecting the environment and also use the electrical energy generated by the photovoltaic systems,” added Dr. Ralph Patzold, CEO of Belectric OPV GmbH.
Belectric, the global market leader in the development and construction of ground-mounted solar power plants and roof-mounted photovoltaic systems, has continued its research and development work into organic solar panels under the name Belectric OPV since October 2012. Alongside the new ‘Solarte’ range, the company is continuing to develop its ‘Power Plastic’ product line, which is primarily aimed at large-scale industrial applications.