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Swiss solar panels set to integrate PV into city buildings

Glass 2 Energy’s solar modules can be built into facades and windows

Glass 2 Energy panels could be integrated into city buildings

A Swiss firm has manufactured what it claims is a pioneer solar panel that has the potential to be integrated into city buildings. The third generation semi transparent PV panels are sealed in glass and can be used in the exterior of building structures, facades and windows.

PV panels are being constructed more onto buildings, but usually only on roofs. This technology, however, could further open up the possibilities of solar power developments in towns and cities.

Swiss firm Glass 2 Energy has manufactured the dye sensitised cell (DSC) panels. The company said the panels have a better performance in low light than traditional crystalline silicon (c-Si) technologies, resulting in a 20 to 50 per cent higher energy return. The glass encapsulation and the ability to yield good results in diffused light conditions gives the technology good potential for building integrated PV (BIPV).

Stefan Müller, CEO of Glass 2 Energy, said: “Solar industry is concentrated on roofs and fields, but in big cities there is not enough roof surface compared to the size of buildings. At the end buildings will have to become self-sufficient in energy generation and consumption”.

“The more dense you build, the more you will need the facade to contribute to the energy generation,” he added.

In line with NanoMarkets’ report from last April, which recognises various solar market applications for DSC technology, Glass 2 Energy plans to integrate its products into a range of outdoor and indoor applications including facades and windows.

The Swiss firm aims to start the commercial deliveries of its black, green, orange and red DSC modules next year.