New technology that allows organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells to be integrated quickly, easily and flexibly into any glass format and facade has now been incorporated into a range of glass balustrades, creating an essentially all new application for organic solar cells.
ARMOR solar power films GmbH from Kitzingen (Germany), known under the brand name ASCA®, and flat-glass processor BGT Bischoff Glastechnik GmbH, are now offering the transparent, energy-generating glass modules to the global construction industry. In addition to manufacturing the OPV components, ARMOR ASCA also plans the system integration, from cable routing and connection technology to the inverter. Currently, the solar power is fed into the public grid or consumed directly.
Transparent and flexible
The solar power is produced by carbon-based organic solar cells, which ARMOR ASCA applies in very thin layers to fine films using a special printing process. Unlike conventional crystalline solar cells, the organic solar films are not only flexible and transparent but can also be bent and shaped as desired. The solar film can be produced in blue, green, grey or red. There are also no limits in terms of shape, length, size and design. While the balustrades are transparent from the inside, they are translucent from the outside, thereby guaranteeing privacy from the outside.
First project in commercial housing
The first glass balustrades with integrated solar films went into operation in May at condominiums in Stuttgart, Möhringen.
The architects of Werkgemeinschaft Böhme Hilse in Stuttgart carried out the project. “For planners, architects and designers, the incredible potential of OPV opens up completely new possibilities in dealing with renewable energies,” says Irina Janke, the planning architect. She has worked with her colleagues and office management to promote the use of the product.
“We are pleased to demonstrate how well the balustrades perform in this project. This proves that our technology also works excellently in commercial residential housing,” Issa concluded.