FAQ - Frequently asked questions and answers about BIPV Products
Size and shape of photovoltaic modules
Glass-glass modules from SUNOVATION are individually manufactured and made-to-measure. Existing grids, such as the floor height, are often used for optimal integration. The sizes are freely selectable and usually range between 0.8 to 1.5 m in width and 2.0 to 3.5 m in height. The minimum size of a module is approx. 0.4 x 0.4 m. The maximum size is approx. 2.0 x 5.0 m or 10m2 per module.
SUNOVATION eFORM modules are available in various shapes and geometries adapted to the building, which is freely selected by the customer. Since the modules are configured individually, modules as a triangle, trapezoid, rhombus, pentagon, hexagon, ellipse, circle, etc. can also be designed in addition to rectangular modules. The crystalline photovoltaic cells are individually arranged and strung in the modules.
Thanks to their special manufacturing process, SUNOVATION eFORM glass-glass modules can also be offered with radii from 450mm. Partially toughened glass is used for these special modules, in which the photovoltaic cells are embedded without tension using a cold filling process.
For some applications, such as carports, winter gardens, etc. we can send you information on a selection of standardized module sizes. In general, SUNOVATION specializes in the production of made-to-measure glass-glass modules. The modules adapt optimally to the specifics of the respective project and fit into the building envelope as best as possible.
Individual glass structure of the photovoltaic modules
The glass structure of SUNOVATION glass-glass modules is determined individually for each project.
SUNOVATION eFORM consists of at least two glasses (ESG, TVG, VSG, ISO) and a layer of PV cells, embedded in a special silicone gel. All eFORM glass-glass-modules are manufactured according to customer requirements with individual configurations. Configurations depend on the specific application, the module size, the planned attachment of the modules and static requirements. Asymmetrical glass compositions and the use of laminated safety glass in accordance with the Building Rules List and insulating glazing are also possible. To reduce reflections, the modules can be configured with matt and structured glasses. Special coatings are also available on request.
All SUNOVATION eFORM BIPV modules can be designed as laminated safety glass modules. This option is generally used in horizontal glazing in the overhead area and in glazing as fall protection.
For all BIPV modules from SUNOVATION, the rear glass panes can be designed as insulating glass. Depending on the requirements for the degree of insulation performance, the individually suitable one can be selected from many insulating glass structures (IGU). This option is primarily chosen for insulating overhead glazing and BIPV facades with partial transparency.
SUNOVATION primarily uses crystalline cell technologies, as these generate the highest and long-term stable energy yields. Depending on the product line and customer requirements, SUNOVATION uses the appropriate photovoltaic cells. For large projects, individual colour adjustments can be made on request. Various crystalline solar cells from well-known manufacturers can be selected:
- Monocrystalline photovoltaic cells in black
- Polycrystalline photovoltaic cells in black
- Coloured design photovoltaic cells in blue, grey, red, brown, green, etc.
- Bifacial photovoltaic cells in black
To customers‘ request, we also offer SUNOVATION eFORM clear glass-glass modules with bifacial photovoltaic cells. When you are thinking about the use of bifacial photovoltaic cells, we recommend talking about the specific application and the local conditions at first. The shading situation, the nature of the ground, etc. have a direct influence on the yield of the PV system.
If the classic optics of photovoltaic cells are not visually convincing, we can optionally change the optics of the photovoltaic cells by printing on different glass levels of the transparent modules. The front and rear glass can be coloured to suit your needs. For opaque modules, we recommend the product lines eFORM unichrome and eFORM decor. These BIPV modules are characterised by full-surface printing and a homogeneous single-color look or module look in various designs.
The photovoltaic cells are not visible in the glass-glass modules of the SUNOVATION eFORM unichrome and eFORM decor product lines. The module surface appears homogeneously in one colour or in different decors.
For optical reasons, it can be advantageous for building integration with photovoltaic modules if the overall picture of the cell grid is continued up to the edge of the module. Depending on the module size, geometry and cell spacing, it may be necessary to work with cut photovoltaic cells. SUNOVATION glass-glass modules eFORM can be equipped with cut photovoltaic cells in the edge area in addition to the active photovoltaic cells.
Transparent photovoltaic modules
The light transmission and optics of the glass-glass modules can be determined by placing the photovoltaic cells individually. The square photovoltaic cells are arranged in rows (so-called strings) in the module. The distance between the photovoltaic cells within a string and the distances between the cell strings can be designed individually. Depending on the installation conditions, appropriate edge distances are considered so that the photovoltaic cells are not shaded. The module is translucent between the opaque photovoltaic cells and at the module edges. The degree of transparency results from the total area of the module minus the coverage rate with photovoltaic cells.
Yes, you can determine the degree of transparency and the design of your modules. Usually, we will provide you with a configuration proposal that can be adapted to your individual needs in terms of shading/transparency. We would be pleased to advise you in detail.
Colour of the photovoltaic modules
The focus of these special solar modules for solar facades and solar roofs lies in the optical integration into the building envelope. Glass-glass modules SUNOVATION eFORM are therefore available in a wide range of colours to match your facade design:
- Transparent photovoltaic modules
- White photovoltaic modules
- Grey photovoltaic modules
- Beige photovoltaic modules
- Green photovoltaic modules
- Red photovoltaic modules
- Blue photovoltaic modules
- Black photovoltaic modules
Through printing, SUNOVATION can produce individual colours for your project. Simply send us the desired colour.
Depending on the desired colour tone, surface effect and purchase quantity, different processes are used to create colour. Coloured glasses, coloured foils, and printing on different glass levels are possible.
SUNOVATION eFORM color features coloured solar cells and adapts the colour of the modules to the solar cells on different glass levels. The silver-coloured busbars between the individual photovoltaic cells are also matched to the cell and glass colour. In this way, coloured and black modules are created with only very slight visibility of the selected photovoltaic cell. Depending on the perspective of the observer and the selected cell, the module appears like a coloured glass surface.
For modules from the SUNOVATION eFORM unichrome and SUNOVATION eFORM decor product lines, full-surface printing is used on various glass levels. The photovoltaic cells themselves are not visible in these modules.
Our special manufacturing process enables the refinement of the glass elements with colour prints and special coatings on the inner glass levels. As a result, they are ideally protected from climatic conditions and fading and retain their appearance and function in the long term. The longevity in terms of colour and UV stability is guaranteed.
Since BIPV facade modules are usually used in combination with other facade materials, colour combinations are often determined using RAL codes. Do not hesitate to use this as a reference for your colour choice. An adjustment to NCS and CMYK values is also suitable.
Electrical power of photovoltaic modules
SUNOVATION mainly uses crystalline cell technologies with the highest and long-term stable energy yields. In addition to the module size, the module geometry and the number of photovoltaic cells, the choice of colour and the degree of transparency have a direct influence on the installed output of a glass-glass module. As the module configurations are created individually at SUNOVATION, the performance indicators of the modules also vary. You will receive specific information on the "installed capacity" of your module with your individual offer. To get an overview in advance, you can use the following information as a guide:
- eFORM clear 160 - 200 Wp/m² (depending on the degree of transparency)
- eFORM color 180 - 200 Wp/m² (depending on the cell selection and the module size)
- eFORM unichrome 100 - 160 Wp/m² (depending on the choice of colour and the module size)
- eFORM decor 100 - 160 Wp/m² (depending on the choice of the decor and the module size)