Lebring, 6. July 2012
ISOVOLTAIC A 34-metre long flexible solar module on a roofing membrane - this prototype represents a milestone for a technologically outstanding innovation which is being developed within the framework of a cooperation lasting for several years between the ISOVOLTAIC, Isosport, Renolit, Konarka, AIT and Hymmen companies.
With reduced production and installation costs and a wide range of possible applications, these flexible solar modules on roofing membranes have huge potential for producing more cost-effective solar electricity in the future.
Flexible solar modules that combine roofing membrane and solar module in one structural element can be handled like conventional roofing membranes and are barely any heavier which means that significant savings can be made on installation costs. An extremely efficient roll-to-roll (R2R) process can be used to manufacture these solar modules saving additional costs in production.
The solar modules used here employ flexible solar cells which require a transparent moisture barrier as special protection. ISOVOLTAIC will provide the necessary expertise for encapsulation of the solar cells and is developing both the backsheets and frontsheets for this project.
Thomas E. Rossegger, CEO of ISOVOLTAIC AG is extremely enthusiastic, “Electrical energy from flexible solar cells laminated directly onto the roofing membrane represents another step in photovoltaics towards a profitable and usable energy source of the future which does not depend on grants and subsidies.”
On completion of the joint project, individual project members will install pilot plants enabling visual and technical monitoring of the flexible solar modules. Among others the installation of such a plant is planned for the roof of ISOVOLTAIC’s headquarters in Lebring.
This partnership project is being funded by the Climate and Energy Fund and the FFG [Austrian Research Promotion Agency]. Each partner company will supply its input according to its core competence. ISOVOLTAIC and Isosport have developed the special films necessary for encapsulation of the flexible solar cells. The two flexible solar cells used were respectively developed by the German company Konarka, using its OPV technology based on organic semi-conductor materials, and another manufacturer of thin-film solar cells. The Belgian Renolit company developed the roofing membrane and other components for the product’s construction. The Energy Department of the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT Energy) is acting as consultant and is involved in measuring and characterising the materials and modules in the project. Finally, the expertise provided by Hymmen Industrieanlagen [Hymmen Industrial Systems] on the continuous production of composite materials served as the basis for developing the process for producing a composite on Hymmen double belt presses.
ISOVOLATIC AG’s project team
from left to right: A. Nigg, I. Majcenovic, A. Plessing, Ch. Schinagl, E. Url
Contact for further information:
Head of Corporate Communications
Tel.: +43 (0)5 9191-9702