EU energy project : make photovoltaic technology full component of new buildings

Nowadays it’s not uncommon to see solar panels added to rooftops, but a new EU-funded project, “Construct PV”, is working on how to integrate photovoltaic (PV) systems into buildings from their very inception.

The new technology can be used to replace parts of conventional building materials, such as roofs, skylights and facades. It means that solar panels can be hidden as part of a wall or as a transparent window. The total cost of the Construct PV project is €11 707 677 including €6 913 100 in EU funding.

The project includes two large-scale demonstration sites in Stuttgart, Germany and Athens, Greece. These showcase the latest in solar PV technology which aims to maximize the active surface area of the photovoltaic system and enhance its appearance.

In Stuttgart, a five-floor office building for up to 250 employees working for a company called Z3 has been built with integrated PV systems which will help Z3 reach their goal of becoming a zero-energy building. Meanwhile, in Athens, the School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens, has been built with integrated PV systems.

Construct PV develops customizable photovoltaic structures for opaque building surfaces for new buildings and buildings undergoing renovation. These hidden solar panels are not only designed to produce electricity, but they also come with other purposes for example to protect a building against the elements, provide insulation to the building, or enhance it aesthetically.

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