Consortium receives millions from EC for roof-integrated photovoltaic system

Monday February 14, 2011 16:16

Roofing with integrated PV cells; this is what the European project PV-GUM is all about. Next to trade and industry, among which the Belgian roofing company Derbigum, Dutch knowledge institutes ECN and KEMA are also involved in this project. The project, which requires a total investment of over 11 million euros, has been granted a 6.4 million euro subsidy by the European Commission.

New flexible photovoltaic membrane
PV-GUM is a European project for further development of new technologies for producing low-cost photovoltaic thin film membranes that can be fully integrated into the roof. “By fully integrating the photovoltaic cell into the bitumen membrane, a photovoltaic roof can be installed much faster and at the same time the modules themselves offer a durable waterproof solution, among other things because the connections remain above the roof”, says Eric Bertrand, coordinator and initiator of the PV-GUM project. The European market potential of this Building Integrated Photovoltaics product (BIPV) is estimated at 23 million m2 of suitable roofs and façades.

The new, flexible photovoltaic membrane is especially suitable for flat roofs and slightly sloped roofs. Compared to fully sloped roofs, flat roofs offer many advantage such as easy access, easy installation, almost unlimited options for orienting the photovoltaic modules and they are often part of commercial, industrial or public buildings.

Developing production technologies
To ensure wide application in the construction sector, this new building integrated photovoltaics product needs to be low-cost. Moreover, it should be just as easy to install as other common roofing and naturally it must be waterproof. Moreover, the solar cells should be able to produce more electricity than the common solar panels. To meet such high expectations and at the same time keep the price low, there is a need for new developments in production, installation and recycling.

To enhance these new developments, Derbigum has established a consortium of nine European partners in the roofing industry and the photovoltaic industry, research centres and market research bureau’s who have ample knowledge and experience to turn this project into a success. In the coming three years, this consortium will develop new production technologies for these fully integrated photovoltaic thin film membranes.

The consortium consists of:

  • DERBIGUM (Belgium), producer of bitumen and vegetable roof membranes
  • ECN (Netherlands) Energy research Centre of the Netherlands, largest institute in the Netherlands in the field of sustainable energy and holds a strong international position
  • KEMA (Netherlands), leading authority in energy consulting and testing & certification
  • FLEXCELL (Switzerland), producer of flexible photovoltaic thin film modules
  • MEYER (Germany), producer of coatings
  • NOLAX (Switzerland), developer and supplier of adhesives
  • GUILBERT EXPRESS (France), developer and producer of soldering equipment
  • EURINNOV (France), market research company for financing education and development
  • B-ENERGY (France), development and production of photovoltaic generators, develops and distributes solar energy applications for roofs
Category: Corporate, Solar Energy