The aim of the project was to integrate photovoltaic elements into two existing facade elements, to develop the interlocking production and finally to prove the technical feasibility by means of an installation. About 20 m² of the existing glass spandrels have been retrofitted with OPV glass laminates matching the original building look, and 30 PV steel elements were integrated and installed on the building.
The main challenges were the accurate production of the OPV film by Heliatek, its integration in a glass-glass BIPV module by AGC Europe and the achievement of a durable bond between the film and the steel cassette. Heliatek OPV films are applied to a Hoesch metal substrate and subsequently formed into facade elements. The installation thus marks the end of the project, which began about two years ago.
“In terms of CO2 reduction targets in the building sector, building-integrated photovoltaics is playing an increasingly important role,” said Sjoerd Veenstra, project coordinator. “BiPV façades like the one in Antwerp could become an important building block for achieving these targets.”
The international consortium includes:
AGC Glass Europe, Belgium
Heliatek GmbH, Germany
Hoesch Bausysteme, Germany
Holst Centre - TNO, Netherlands
Engie Laborelec, Belgium
The four scientific institutes; Holst Centre, imec, Laborelec and ECN, supported the development, system design and correlation of accelerated aging and outdoor data. Data on the ambient temperature, module temperature of the steel façade elements and, of course, on the total yield of the system are continuously monitored. So far, the installation has generated 260kWh.
This installation sets an important milestone to the partnership between AGC Glass Europe and Heliatek, showing not only that glass enables green energy production but that it also makes possible the retrofit of existing building envelopes matching with the building’s original aesthetics.
Hoesch/Kingspan is planning a further development and Europe-wide marketing of solar-active steel façade elements. The results of the current product variant solar foil on steel cassette elements are also to be transferred to the sandwich panel variant in the long term.