An innovative building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) project recently reached completion on a facade of the Gronau municipal utility's new administration building in the western Münster region of Germany.
The BIPV project was conceived and carried out by architects from H III S harder stumpfl schramm freie architekten (HIIIS), specializing in future-oriented, sustainable and user-oriented buildings design.
The custom solar modules used for the project utilize organic photovoltaics (OPV) technology by ASCA, a smart, customized and flexible solar solutions provider and a subsidiary of ARMOR Group. A unique printing process was adopted to apply ASCA's OPV cells to film substrates. Then these solar films were integrated with glass modules for the facade. Following the concept and design from HIIIS, ASCA also produced and combined green foils with the glass modules to match the surrounding clinker brick facade of the adjacent structures.
The integrated solar glass modules measure 3.66 by 2.25 meters each. They were installed by BGT Bischoff Glastechnik GmbH on the south facade of the building while alternating with conventional glass panes.
"The display window facing the street visualizes the themes of energy and sustainability," said Hermann Issa, a senior vice president at ASCA.
The solar glass on the facade allows partial light into the building while absorbing and converting particular light within the light spectrum into electricity, meanwhile offering a sense of enclosure and security and providing employees with a full view toward the outside.