Europe’s first smart solar concrete façade inaugurated in Germany

Europe’s first solar concrete wall was inaugurated last week at Reckli’s headquarter in Herne, Germany. The façade, designed by Reckli to fit Heliatek‘s organic solar film (HeliaFilm), represents a novel approach to Building Integrated Organic PV (BIOPV) and the next step towards a sustainable, net-zero energy building.

This solar active concrete wall is the result of a joint development project of Reckli and Heliatek. With 3 rows of concrete modules with vertically mounted integrated solar film and an installed power of 1kWp, the south-west oriented wall will supply around 500 kWh of electricity per year.

The energy produced will be used directly by Reckli. The annual energy output is expected to be about 25% above the yield of silicon technology.

Heliatek has already shown that its solar film, HeliaFilm, delivers more energy under overcast sky conditions and at high temperatures compared to traditional solar cells. This advantage is based on the unique properties of its organic semiconductor. In addition, HeliaFilm allows a wide range of colors and flexible layouts – both features sought after by architects and planners.

Peter Henning, Sales Manager of Reckli explained:

“We focused for this pilot installation on how to combine the solar film and concrete modules in a reliable and aesthetic manner. We want to demonstrate to architects, planners and investors, how the solar concrete future looks like.“

Concrete façades of tomorrow

Reckli and Heliatek have been working together for 3 years on smart façade solutions, which combine various concrete structures and HeliaFilm. By using different colors, concrete facades can be aesthetically enhanced and simultaneously supply energy to meet urban power requirements.

Building integrated organic photovoltaic (BIOPV) is able to make an important contribution to the urban power needs. The carbon footprint in large cities can be significantly improved. One major advantage of using HeliaFilm is that there is no need for ventilation or cooling systems in order to operate effectively. Additional pilot projects of Reckli and Heliatek are in the pipeline for 2016. Market entry is planned for the second half of 2017.

Source: Press Release by Heliatek. Image Credit: Heliatek.