Solar is as Solar Does for BioHaus

Glass encased solar cells create a stunning facade for the BioHaus office in Germany. But the SunPower A-300 cells don’t stop at good looks.

The building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system will generate up to 1.8 kW of energy for the building. BioHaus manufactures solar electric modules and inverters for the German market. SunPower’s solar cells were encapsulated between sheets of glass by Saint Gobain Glass Solar, and integrated into the building’s rounded south facade. The building also features solar panels on its southeast and southwest walls and roof. “We see a clear trend toward more highly integrated BIPV systems because they allow the building envelope to actively reduce electrical consumption,” said Jorn Jurgens, BIPV manager at SunPower. “By integrating the world’s most-efficient solar cells from Sun Power into an architecturally pleasing building design, BioHaus has shown that companies can enjoy the energy independence and environmental benefits of solar without sacrificing aesthetics.” SunPower designed its PV with architecture in mind. The cells feature an all-back contact design that maximizes working cell area, hides wires and simplifies automated production. BioHaus isn’t a stranger to BIPV. The company recently signed a contract with Uni-Solar Ovonic of Michigan for 9.6 MW of photovoltaic laminates. Biohaus will incorporate the Uni-Solar BIPV laminates with its proprietary panel design to address Germany’s expanding grid-connected PV market. “The UNI-SOLAR laminates, combined with our unique design, will address the market for power modules used for on-grid systems,” said Willi Ernst, who is the managing director of Biohaus. “We have selected UNI-SOLAR laminates due, in part, to the exceptional performance characteristics which integrate seamlessly with our designs and marketing strategy.”
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