Project: Plastic Integrated Flexible Photovoltaics

The aim of the Consortium is to develop and test innovative GFRP (Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic) plates and composites with integrated flexible PV modules and to further establish them as new prod-ucts in the market for building construction and for transportation (see appendix p.1):_x000D_- Building Construction: cost-effective building elements for facades and roofs, use of areas which need a lightweight cover, modular constructions or specific functional extras such as lighting or motors._x000D_- Transportation: roofs and sidewalls of commercial, recreational and water vehicles (trucks and trailers caravans and boats)._x000D_In the field of building construction the project focuses on translucent GFRP plate material (scobaglas and scobalight) and on lightweight façade elements (scobaelement and scobalight) as they are pro-duced from Scobalit. The company has a specific know-how for more than 50 years and a large experience to customize GFRP solutions for individual facade constructions._x000D_In the field of transportation the focus is on GFRP-laminates for sandwiches that are used for roofs and sidewalls of trucks, trailers and caravans. A further application will be railways. The laminates are all industrially produced in a continuous process by Optiplan.The company has a specific know-how and a large experience in producing thin and opaque laminates for industrial purposes and has a huge market in the transportation field._x000D_GFRP used in building construction and transportation is rather different in its appearance and for-mate. However the chemical ingredients and production processes are quite similar so that the pro-duction processes and technical solutions developed in the project can be applied in both fields._x000D_Flexcell and SMD are producers of flexible PV films. Flexcell has an experience of more than 10 years in developing and producing cells and specific PV modules. Based on their standard processes of fix-ing PV cells on backsheet materials (e.g. steel, various polymers, fibre cement and others), the intention is to use GFRP as a backsheet material too (see appendix p. 8). SMD is a rather young Start-Up company with the focus on grid-independent systems such as consumer products and solutions for transportation._x000D__x000D_Three approaches (see appendix p. 2) to achieve innovative GFRP elements with integrated flexible PV modules are defined in the project:_x000D_¿ Approach 1: Vacuum lamination on flat GFRP. _x000D_A standard vacuum lamination using EVA as bonding material with a simple production and short time to market. The application to GFRP creates chemical (outgassing) and adhesion problems that have to be solved. This adaption has to be achieved according to the requirements of Flexcell. In contrary to elements with glass covering layers, the element reCOs flexible (see appendix p. 3)._x000D_¿ Approach 2: Post-lamination reinforcement with GFRP. _x000D_Semifinished flexible modules are reinforced and, as an option, shaped, by applying polyester resin and glass fiber on the backside. The resin impregnation is done on a dedicated GFRP production line and allows the production of non-flat modules (i.e. corrugated roof elements - see appendix p. 4)._x000D_¿ Approach 3: Embedding of the PV film in GFRP matrix._x000D_In line embedding of PV film allowing the production of longer modules than those actualls achievable in standard laminators. It is necessary to find an industrial production process to easily and directly integrate the PV film in the polymer matrix of the GFRP plates and laminates. The matrix resins and lamination processes have to be adapted to the special needs of the final PV modules as well. In this case, the GFRP front sheet further has to comply with high light transmission and high weathering resistance (see appendix p. 5). _x000D__x000D_Compared to other integrated and non-integrated PV-solutions the material GFRP in combination with flexible PV cells is lightweight, freely shapeable, has a tunable mechanical resistance and is dimensionally stable. _x000D_The workplan includes the establishment of processes and materials as well as the production and examination of prototypes regarding criteria not only of design, construction, process, electrical and mechanical technology, but also of ecology and economy. Laboratory and outdoor tests will be done as well as calculation models._x000D_The participating companies represent the sectors of PV, GFRP and with Silikal the sector of chemical components._x000D_HTW Berlin is represented here with its focus in “Renewable Energies” within the Faculty of Engineer-ing Sciences. HS OWL is represented here with its focus in “Building Design and Construction” within the Detmold School of Architecture and Interior Architecture. Both universities have a large experience in applied research and the support of product innovation for the market._x000D_

Acronym PINFLEX-PV (Reference Number: 7082)
Duration 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2013
Project Topic Flexible PV foils are directly integrated with glas fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP) to form lightweight energy producing construction elements for transportation and buildings
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 7

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
7 Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe, University of Applied Sciences Partner Germany
7 Special Module Design GmbH Partner Germany
7 Silikal GmbH Partner Germany
7 Hochschule fuer Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin Partner Germany
7 Flexcell (VHF-Technologies SA) Coordinator Switzerland
7 Optiplan GmbH Partner Germany
7 Scobalit AG Partner Switzerland