Dutch Solar Design façade module optimises appearance, yield and sustainability

Friday September 22, 2017 12:24

The multifunctional, sustainable Dutch Solar Design façade module makes large-scale use of solar energy in the built environment attractive. The patented printing technology leads to improved aesthetics.

ECN, printing specialist TS Visuals, architecture design network UNStudio, design advisor Design Innovation Group, façade builder Aldowa and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences have come together to jointly market a multifunctional and sustainable façade module. Senior researcher John van Roosmalen of ECN explains: “This patented printing technology further optimises the product aspects of existing coloured solar panels. The combination of a high-end appearance, freedom of design, flexible production technology and a guaranteed yield of at least 80% compared to a standard solar panel is unique within the PV market. This integrated solution represents a real boost to the Dutch manufacturing industry.”

“Sweet spot”
According to Van Roosmalen, this product has an acceptable balance between appearance, yield and sustainability. “We have managed to find a “sweet spot” that is made up of 30% coloured print as well as having a guaranteed yield of 80%. We are able to achieve this through the use of Metal Wrap Through back-contact technology which gives an excellent background for the full-colour print and flexibility in dimensioning and production. This technology improves the yield by 5 to 10 percent compared to standard solar cells, by conducting the metallisation of the solar cells to the rear of the MWT cells through laser-drilled holes, so that we can connect the cells in series using conductive copper foil.“

Reliable and practical concept
Material sustainability plays a pivotal role in the development and testing phase. Van Roosmalen: “Up to now the panel has passed ECN's outdoor, indoor and UV lighting tests with flying colours. The results show that the panel more than meets the solar panel industry's standard test duration and so confirms our ambition to guarantee its sustainability and colour-fastness for 20 years.”

One of the great advantages of the façade module is its flexibility in use. According to Van Roosmalen the module's size of 120 x 90 centimetres may be smaller than a standard panel, but puts it in line with standard construction sizes – multiples of 30 cm – and the flexible MWT technology makes various applications and sizes possible. “The DSD façade panel can be used in various sizes. A relevant factor for the PV industry is that the colour prints can be used on different types of solar cells: from monocrystalline and multicrystalline silicon to thin film.”

Freedom of design
Thijs Sepers, founder of TS Visuals, renowned among other things for the colourful ceiling in the Rotterdam Markthal, agrees with Van Roosmalen. Sepers: “The applications for this Dutch invention are boundless: from “freedom of design” solar panels to façades, noise barriers and integration into the landscape. Builders and developers can use this multifunctional façade to more easily comply with the increasingly strict new build requirements. The extra cost of the façade is offset by the solar power produced. There is nothing standing in the way of its success.”

Presentation of DSD innovations
During the EUPVSEC, we present our latest Dutch Solar Design innovations with our partners UNStudio, TS Visuals, Design Innovation Group, Aldowa and the University of Amsterdam. You can watch a video of a new generation solar panels here:

More information and contact
For more information regarding the Dutch Solar Design façade module please visit our speciale theme page or contact John van Roosmalen via our online contact form.

Category: Corporate, Solar Energy