Project: Building Integrable PHOtovoltaics: Coloured And Light-transparent modules

The building envelops are now becoming real “active skins” with a very important energetic potential. The paradigm of architecture undergoes a soft equilibrium among aesthetic and utility, varies along history and tends naturally, but unconsciously, towards an increase of the energy consumption per inhabitant and home. The struggle for an improvement of the energy requirements of the buildings, and specifically, the activation of the skin of the buildings as electric energy generators, aims to a neutral energy balance. Modern technologies can help the building to achieve the equality in production and consumption of energy by devices with a high degree of integration and aesthetics._x000D__x000D_The integration of the PVs in the architecture is penetrating slowly, and psychological, structural and aesthetical requirements must be addressed in order to produce photovoltaic components to be integrated into buildings while satisfying architectural needs, requirements and desires._x000D__x000D_In this context the aim of BIPHOCAL is to develop coloured semitransparent photovoltaic modules based on a-Si:H thin film technology (TFSC). One of the CO advantages of a-Si thin film PV technology in front of crystalline silicon, is that a-Si thin films can provide semitransparent features. Thus, solar control capabilities related to artificial decrease of solar energy input into the building, can be added to BIPV devices by developing different transparency levels. The a-Si thin-film technology deposited over glass offers the unique possibility to locally remove the deposited opaque layers from the glass substrate by laser scribing techniques. The module becomes then semitransparent allowing to design a good daylight and thermal control of the rooms._x000D__x000D_On the other hand, it is necessary to fulfil architects requirements in terms of design and aesthetics in order to exploit full potential of the building integration of PV. In this sense, BIPHOCAL aims to develop coloured PV modules. For this purpose different thin film processing alternatives will be developed in order to deposit reflective or/and interferometric films in the PV stack. Sol-Gel and and PVD magnetron sputtering technologies will be used as alternatives to introduce colours in the PV stack by means of reflective and/or interference layers. PVD magnetron sputtering is currently used in the manufacturing chain of PV modules and Sol-Gel has a great potential to be integrated as is relatively cheap to apply and does not require high level of investment in equipment. Obtaining coloured modules is not only interesting for semitransparent modules, on the contrary colouring strategies will be also developed for opaque modules, as opaque substrates (as for example steel or flexible substrates) provides different architectural possibilities. These approaches are highly integrable in current production processes allowing to introduce the colouring of modules at reasonable processing cost without compromising the efficiency of the modules. Additionally, the development of the new processes will guarantee the necessary flexibility to answer market demands, enabling the manufacture of products under customer's specific requirements of colours. _x000D__x000D_The consortium is formed by two R&D performing SMEs: Soliker and SolSens._x000D__x000D_Soliker (SLK), founded in 2002, is a Spanish manufacturer of high efficiency solar thermal collectors,_x000D_thin film photovoltaic modules and ad-hoc BIPV laminated glass. Soliker is known as one of the most active Spanish companies in PV research and technology transfer._x000D__x000D_SolSens GmbH is a micro-enterprise, based in Berne, Switzerland. It is active in the field of materials / surface technology and related consulting. Its specialization is the development of sol-gel based functional coatings and measurement systems._x000D__x000D_Reference research centers and universities as Tekniker (Spain), ITMA (Spain), HES-SO (Applied University of Western Switzerland), IAP (Institute of Applied Physics, Bern) will participate in the project as subcontractors to perform specific activities in which their expertise and equipment are necessary._x000D__x000D__x000D__x000D_

Acronym BIPHOCAL (Reference Number: 7071)
Duration 01/12/2012 - 30/11/2015
Project Topic The aim of BIPHOCAL is to develop efficient coloured and transparent a-Si photovoltaic (PV) modules. These innovative PV modules can boost the use of building-integrated PV by satisfying the aesthetics requirements of architects, COtaining the efficiency and durability of the modules.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 7

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 SOLIKER Coordinator Spain
2 SolSens GmbH Partner Switzerland