New project puts solar cells in building materials
The new project PV Opmaat sees researchers at imec and EnergyVille working to integrate solar power systems into common building materials
Solar power in your curtains
The PV Opmaat project kicked off yesterday on UHasselt’s Diepenbeek campus and at imec. The provinces of Limburg and Flemish Brabant are financially supporting the project.
Solar energy is mostly utilised via panels on roofs, but researchers are increasingly looking to integrate solar cells in other building materials that are exposed to sunlight such as roof tiles, wall panels, windows and even curtains. The challenges are fitting Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) panels into materials without affecting the look of a building, making them affordable to produce and ensuring that they are energy-efficient.
There are already BIPV panels on the market, but they are not well enough adapted to the requirements of the building sector. The Flemish and Dutch partners will develop new methods to produce solar cells that are customised to the demands of the construction industry.
“We want to address the needs of the growing market in renovations and in improving the energy-efficiency of houses and buildings,” said professor Michaël Daenen of UHasselt. The ready-made solutions, which are more environment-friendly and energy-efficient, should make the solar panel industry in Flanders more competitive.
Photo courtesy Solar Power World
new wind turbines created in Flanders in 2013
million kilowattage of green energy in 2012
percentage of green energy used in Flanders in 2012