Trade Resources Company News Avancis and Sunpartner Team up on Solar Glass for BIPV Market

Avancis and Sunpartner Team up on Solar Glass for BIPV Market

A strategic partnership has been announced for the copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic cell technology of Avancis GmbH of Torgau, Germany to be used in the semi-transparent WYSIPS Design Glass energy-producing solar glass of Sunpartner Technologies of Rousset, Aix-en-Provence, France for construction and use in smart city markets.

The first semi-transparent solar glazing panel from the partnership is being exhibited in Avancis' booth (hall 11/D59) at the glasstec trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany (20-23 September). In total, six PV modules with different designs will be showcased as first samples of WYSIPS Design Glass technology.

"It is essential to be able to count on strong partners who are globally recognized," says Sunpartner's president Ludovic Deblois. "Avancis develops and produces leading-edge thin-film CIGS PV modules that have some of the best performances on the market. In fact, they have been certified by TüV, Fraunhofer ISE and other recognized certification bodies… Avancis has been smart in adapting developments in the solar market by positioning themselves very early in BIPV, which is growing strongly in Europe and around the world. We have already planned several new R&D ideas to explore at their R&D centers in Germany," he adds.

"Sunpartner Technologies has extensive experience in energy-generating glass," comments Avancis' CEO Dr Franz Karg. "After more than two years of intensive collaboration, we are pleased to cooperate with an innovative partner with whom we complete decisively our product portfolio for solar facades," he adds. "In addition to our existing colored architects' panels, we will be able to provide basic products for semi-transparent surfaces such as insulating facades, double facades and skylights."

Sunpartner provides architects with a range of semi-transparent photovoltaic glazings with customizable designs (gradients, shapes or colors available on request) and varying transparency (10-70%) whose power/yield can reach up to 110Wp/m2.

WYSIPS Design Glass integrates into the structural design of a building, making facades, canopies, skylights, balcony balustrades and sunshades into distinctive architectural elements.

Near Aix-en-Provence, Sunpartner plans to manufacture the WYSIPS Design Glass modules, with pre-series products available by end of 2016. Serving the construction industry, this manufacturing facility should increase its capacity from 30,000m2/year in 2017 to 200,000m2/year by 2022 to meet the needs of the European market. Expansion to other global markets will be achieved through manufacturing joint ventures.

The firm has also developed WYSIPS Vision Glass: transparent solar technology that integrates into glazing to turn the windows into solar panels while preserving aesthetics. WYSIPS Vision Glass can power features such as darkening the windows, lighting, automated opening, or alarms. Compatible with laminated and tempered glass, it generates 18-50Wp/m2 with a transparency of 20-70%.

With its WYSIPS Design Glass and Vision Glass, Sunpartner aims to position itself as a key player in the building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) market, with strong growth projected in the coming years. In new construction, energy regulations are pushing towards energy-positive buildings. There are also significant opportunities for integrated solar glazing in energy renovation. By 2020, the market for integrated solar glazing is projected to reach $ 3.5bn, according to n-tech research.

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