Heliatek completes largest organic photovoltaics BIPV installation to date

Oct. 18, 2018
The trial installation has 192 total 3 m long HeliaSol film panels, making it the largest OPV installation to date.

Approximately 185 square meters of Heliatek (Dresden, Germany) organic photovoltaic (OPV) films were installed on the façade of a warehouse of the Duisburger Hafen in August 2018. It is a building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) sub-project within the cooperation agreement "Drehkreuz Energiewende" that was established between the Duisburger Hafen and the energy company innogy in 2016. The trial installation has 192 total 3 m long HeliaSolfilm panels, making it the largest OPV installation to date.

HeliaSol is an extremely lightweight, very thin, and flexible solar film that is produced in an energy-efficient roll-to-roll process in Germany. Equipped with a self-adhesive backing, the film can be applied directly to a variety of surfaces without further assembly efforts, and without affecting the structure underneath. With the project in Duisburg, the solar films were glued directly onto the metal face of the warehouse. Ventilation or cooling is not necessary as the films do not lose power or efficiency at high temperatures, unlike crystalline solar PV technology.

The solar films cover an area of approximately 185 square meters and generate about as much energy as a five-person household would consume annually. Due to the efficient use of materials and manufacturing process, the solar films produce 80 times more energy over their lifecycle than is needed to produce them. When compared to the CO2 emissions of various other types of energy production, Heliatek's solar films clearly provide the lowest CO2 footprint, with 20 g CO2 per kWh.

The construction of the solar building face is one of four areas of cooperation and a large number of measures implemented between innogy and duisport for a successful sustainability strategy. Duisburger Hafen AG is the operator of the world's largest inland port and intends to position itself as a major hub for the energy transition. That's why a strategic partnership with innogy was established in 2016, with the goal to jointly test new methods of energy conservation and use renewable energy for major industries and in logistics.

After the biogas plant in Bergheim-Paffendorf, and the façade installation at the Lechwerke in Augsburg, a third mutual project between Heliatek and investor innogy has commenced. With the inauguration of a new production facility in 2020, Heliatek is committed to actively shaping the future of a decentralized and decarbonized future. Following a successful test run on the Duisburg port site alone offers potential to use up to 10 million square meters of façade and roof space for the production of solar energy. Since 2016, innogy SE has worked in cooperation with Heliatek GmbH, and has actively supported the preparation of Heliatek's market entry since then.

With the Federal Government's goals of achieving a virtually climate-neutral standard of buildings by 2050, the premises for this industry are set in Germany. Buildings cause about one third of all CO2 emissions and total energy consumption in Germany. One method of energy reduction for buildings, for example, lies in energy-oriented building renovations such as this BIPV installation.

SOURCE: Heliatek; https://www.heliatek.com/en/press/press-releases/details/worlds-largest-facade-installed-with-organic-photovoltaics-in-the-port-of-duisburg

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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