ConstructionPro Week, Volume: Construction Advisor Today - Issue: 90 - 01/14/2011

Several Companies Report New Developments Involving Building-Integrated Photovoltaics

Sandvika, Norway-based REC in December launched its first building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solution combining the REC Peak Energy Series Module and the Solrif installation system distributed by Ernst Schweitzer AG. "For the moment," the solution only is being offered in France, "but we are exploring other markets," Asmund Fodstad, senior vice president of sales and marketing for REC, told Green Building Insider.

The REC Peak Energy Integrated Solution is designed for building in-roof solar systems that combine the power output of REC solar modules with the Solrif installation system. The solution fits directly into the roof, replacing conventional building material. The product can be used for new roofs or for retrofit purposes.

 

"On the market for more than 10 years with several megawatts already installed, the quality and flexibility of the aluminum SolrifFrame is well established," REC stated. "The low-profile height results in good rear ventilation, supporting efficient electrical performance, and can be easily combined with several roofing materials. The system can be installed easily and quickly just like roof tiles. The design supports drainage of rainwater and the sliding off of snow so that modules produce the maximum amount of power in all weather conditions."

The BIPV solution uses the frameless REC Peak Energy Module, which delivers more power per square meter due to several design improvements resulting in approximately 7 percent improved energy output compared to earlier-generation modules, according to REC. "Our modules have consistently outperformed other manufacturers in Photon field performance tests measuring energy yield in 2010. The modules have a robust and durable design, supporting a large mechanical load." The new product is TUV certified.

 

When asked how the REC Peak Energy Solution differs from comparable offerings elsewhere in the marketplace, Fodstad said, "The product leverages the high performance of the REC Peak Energy module and its many key selling points recognized with the Solar Industry Award for Module Manufacturing Innovation. The REC Peak Energy Module delivers more power per square meter due to several design improvements. Introduction of three bus bars and improved contact between the cell and metal fingers improves electrical flow, producing an average power gain of nine watts. The unique glass etching process, completed in house, utilizes Sunarc technology to increase energy production by 2 percent."

 

The REC Peak Energy Integrated is scheduled to be offered in markets outside of France in the first quarter of 2011. REC plans to increase production of the REC Peak Energy Integrated and to expand this BIPV product range. REC partners in France recently were trained on the solution and the company will support the training of additional installers. 
 
Agreement to Co-Market BIPV Products in China Signed

China Sunergy Co. Ltd., a specialized solar manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, and Pythagoras Solar, a provider of BIPV products, have signed an agreement to co-market and advance the development and scale manufacturing of BIPV products from 2010-2015 in China. The agreement positions both companies to capitalize on opportunities in the growing BIPV market through the use of Pythagoras Solar's transparent photovoltaic glass units (PVGU).

The research firm NanoMarkets estimated the BIPV market in Asia in 2009 at more than $US600 million in installation revenues and forecasts the global BIPV market to exceed $US8 billion by 2015.
Under the agreement, China Sunergy will work with Pythagoras Solar to "rapidly advance" the proliferation of PVGU products by supplying up to 75 megawatts of "high-efficiency" solar concentrator cells within five years.

Pythagoras Solar's PVGU products are designed to combine the modularity and insulating benefits of the standard insulating glass unit (IGU) with solar power generation and architectural adaptability. Other areas of cooperation between the companies may include the reselling and production of Pythagoras Solar's PVGU products by China Sunergy and the development and supply of new solar concentrator cells to further enhance BIPV systems. 
 
Lumeta Garners TUV Certification for Its PowerPly Roof-Integrated PV Module Irvine, Calif.-based Lumeta Inc. has receieved TÜV InterCert certification for its patented PowerPly roof-integrated photovoltaic solar module in accordance with IEC compliance for IEC 61215 and IEC 61730. Lumeta also has started business operations in Europe and opened an office in Nice, France. 


Six PowerPly test sites are now operational with European partners. The first European commercial installation in Prague of 90 kilowatts (peak) was completed in November.

 

"The PowerPly 400Wp module represents a significant breakthrough in c-Si module technology, which has remained largely unchanged for years," said Jonathan Pickering, EVP and GM of Lumeta. "We have all the benefits of using a proven monocrystalline cell but with a form factor that allows direct integration to the roofing membrane. PowerPly is unique in the industry and the attainment of IEC compliance is an important milestone."

 

The PowerPly 400Wp module combines a DuPont Tefzel front sheet and a lightweight composite substrate with monocrystalline silicon solar cells to maximize power density, eliminating the glass and aluminum frame structure of conventional modules. PowerPly is designed for low-slope applications as it adheres directly to the roof without racking, reducing system weight and eliminating wind loading issues.

Lumeta PowerPly is being manufactured in Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd.'s BIPV facility in Wuxi, China.

 

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