News and current projects from Sunovation

SUNOVATION realizes world’s largest solar glass project

Curved glass-glass solar modules from SUNOVATION for the Holy Mosque in Mecca

June 2016 – SUNOVATION, German manufacturer of special glasses for architecture is currently realizing the world’s largest BIPV project with individual glass-glass solar modules.

The world’s current largest construction project with building-integrated solar glass elements (BIPV) modules is in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. With vast development and modernization measures, the holy mosque is being expanded to provide space for the rapidly increasing number of visitors. To guide the streams of pilgrims safely to the Kaaba, the central sanctuary, four pedestrian bridges were built, among other things. The pedestrian bridges have a length of 120 meters, are 40 meters high and roofed to provide protection from the desert climate. The roofs span the bridges in a curved form with a radius of approx. 24 meters. The glass elements from SUNOVATION are attached to a very light but particularly strong substructure made of composite materials (carbon and glass fibre fabric).

The solar glass elements themselves are a laminated glass structure in which the solar cells are embedded in an approx. 2mm thick silicone layer. The glasses are each approx. 2m² in size and weigh up to 90 kg. Already during the initial planning of the bridges, architects and clients wanted the use of photovoltaic elements in green, the "color of Islam". A realization of the solar glass surfaces in curved form was not thought of at the beginning, because such products were non-existent.

SUNOVATION first developed glass elements in a variety of green shades and surface effects, which were subjected to an elaborate selection process under different lightening conditions. For this purpose, specially developed design-solar cells in multiple types were combined with different glass finishing processes. In addition to the essential criterion of the module optics, the performance parameters were not to be neglected, so that there were limits to the refinement of the front side of the modules. With SUNOVATIONs unique manufacturing technology, a silicone filling process, and the associated options – many different variants were feasible.

In addition to the homogeneous overall appearance of the green solar glass elements, the aim was to create an edgeless curved glass surface that would continue the Islamic architecture of the overall building with its domed structures and curved elements. The structure, roof shape and design of the pedestrian bridges were to be optimally incorporated into the overall architecture. However, the use of flat glass modules would have resulted in undesirable, angular geometries at the module transition. A continuation of the arched roof shape was made possible only with the curved solar glass elements from SUNOVATION, which were then also chosen in the selection process.

“We qualified for this order because SUNOVATION offers a product concept that is particularly suitable for special applications in architecture, especially the desert climate in Arabia” explains Managing Director Heribert Ley. “For our company, this major project is of course paramount, as we have proven our special capabilities against the established competition.” “Further, this order certainly is an indication of the drive and innovative ability of medium-sized businesses in Germany, of which we are already very proud here in the Bavarian Untermain”, Ley continues.

For this project, a total of 14 different geometries were developed and manufactured by SUNOVATION. Of the 14 geometries, 6 variants are of curved design. The covered roof area of the bridge buildings amounts to approx. 12,800m² and is thus the largest building-integrated solar glass area worldwide to date.
In extensive tests, an independent testing institute confirmed the special suitability of the silicone glass laminate for the desert climate in the Middle East compared to the usual laminating techniques. For cleaning and maintenance purposes, the solar glass elements can be entered with thermally toughened single-pane safety glass. The electricity generated is used 100% for self-consumption in ventilation and cooling systems.

The production time of the approx. 8,000 solar glass elements was approx. 12 months. With means of special transports, the modules for the largest mosque in the world were transported in 35 containers from Germany to Saudi Arabia. The costs for this unique BIPV-Project are in the double-digit million range. The installation of the glass-glass-modules is being carried out by the client Premiere Composite Technologies (PCT) in Dubai. PCT is also a manufacturer of innovative composite structures that enable unique, lightweight designs and has realised many exclusive buildings around the world.

BIPV project with curved glass-glass modules

SUNOVATION realizes project with curved SUNOVATION eFORM Crystal

BIPV-Projekt mit ebenen und gebogenen Photovoltaik-Fassadenelementen SUNOVATION eFORM Crystal

SUNOVATION, manufacturer of solar elements for architectural applications, equips a new office building in passive-plus-energy house standard with individual glass-glass modules for the integration into buildings.

The new building of the AZV Erdinger Moos, designed by Architekturwerkstatt Vallentin, excels through its futuristic design and the combination of down-to-earth and innovative materials. One remarkable design element are the 84 m² striking, individually designed photovoltaic facade elements, which have been attached to the railings of the floating corridor in intervals of 2 m. A total of 26 glass-glass modules Sunovation eFORM Crystal with polycrystalline, blue solar cells were installed. The solar elements with a size of 3.25 m² have a capacity of 454 Wp each.

One particular feature of the semi transparent BIPV modules is the finishing of the rear side of the modules by means of selective screen-print. By imitating the front cell optics, the module surface visible from the inside ideally integrates itself into the design concept. The highlight, however, are the two curved photovoltaic elements on the curved structure of the triangular shaped atrium. The approximately 3m² large glass-glass modules are bent in a radius of approximately 3.5m. By means of their adaptive design, they perfectly harmonize with the building line and optimally blend into the overall design.

Glass-glass modules of the Sunovation eFORM series are exclusively manufactured project-specifically. Architects and planners have thus various design possibilities for a perfect integration of these solar building elements. Available are individual sizes, shapes, cell- and module colors. The modules can be supplied semi-transparent, homogeneous monochrome as well as contrasting in almost every color.

The new building at Erdinger Moos was carried out in minimal-energy construction with an extremely heat-insulating envelope, comfort ventilation system and photovoltaic systems in the facade and on the roof.

Product innovation BIPV

Individual art solar power module for building integration SUNOVATION eFORM art

– Beispiel eines Kunst-Solarmoduls zur Gebäudeintegration. Realisierung in Zusammenarbeit mit Glasmalerei Peters. Künstlerische Gestaltung: Bavo Tiebos

SUNOVATION, manufacturer of solar power modules for architectural applications shows extraordinary possibilities for a unique facade design.

The individual art solar power modules are tailor-made versions of the glass glass module series Sunovation eFORM. The special Sunovation manufacturing process enables the production of these extravagant modules. By means of a cold filling process, crystalline solar cells are embedded between two glass sheets. This allows an individual determination of size, geometry, cell coverage and color range.

The support plates of the art modules are finished in a wide variety of glass processing techniques according to customers’ specifications in cooperation with a renowned workshop for glass design. For combining art and solar power the artistically designed glass sheets are assembled to individual solar power modules. This includes a free choice of cells and its layout adapted to the overall synthesis of the art.

Any designs ranging from traditional to abstract art up to the presentation of company logos are realizable. The Sunovation eFORM artline allows very individual artistic accents to be set in architecture. Art solar power modules are particularly suitable for parts of representative buildings.

SUNOVATION is a producer of solar construction elements for applications in architecture. The project-specific SUNOVATION solar power modules are ideal for contemporary construction projects. They are used as solar façades, solar canopies or shading solutions. In the field of e-Mobility, special Car- and BikePort systems that combine flexibility with exclusive design are provided. Due to the special technology, building elements can be individually produced in terms of geometry, solar cells, degree of transparency and color range.

SUNOVATION researches, develops and produces in Elsenfeld. From the location in Germany, close to Frankfurt/Main, SUNOVATION supplies customers worldwide who are looking for special architectural solutions.

Product innovation BIPV

Monochrome glass-glass modules for building integration - SUNOVATION presents Sunovation eFORM Color at the exhibition BAU 2013

SUNOVATION, manufacturer for architectural applications, brings homogenous monochrome glass-glass modules for facade design on the market.

The solar modules SUNOVATION eFORM Color are an innovative further development of glass-glass solar modules for building integration. The special feature of these building elements is the uniform appearance in homogenous, monochrome optic. With this product, photovoltaic can be integrated exclusively into buildings. SUNOVATION eFORM Color are currently available in the colors black, anthracite, cobalt blue, gold and silver.  

For the special design, matching colored solar cells are put into a group with colored special glasses – also the current-carrying connectors between the solar cells are the same shade of color. The surface is only interrupted by the specific structure of the solar cells and its reflections from different viewing angles. According to viewing angle and model, it is often only apparent at a second glance, that it is a photovoltaic module. These modules are just as powerful as conventional glass-glass modules for building integration. Through the application of crystalline solar cells efficiency levels of up to 18% are reached. The modules are produced up to a size of 3.500 x 1.500 mm according to customers’ requirements.  

The design of the overall project is clearly the focus here –the integrative optic of the monochrome glass-glass modules open up new design possibilities. „With our new product line we are taking our customers’ request fro homogenous and at the same time very precious building elements for building integration “, states Heribert Ley, CEO of SUNOVATION GmbH. Facades on representative buildings can be equipped with this procuts either entirely or partially. Also a play with different module colors as well as the combination of solar building elements with matching glass elements is possible. Furthermore, a backlighting with LEDs is possible with these new solar power elements.

SUNOVATION eFORM Color in the colors black and blue.

The SUNOVATION GmbH is a manufacturer of solar building elements for architectural applications. The project-specific solar modules are ideally suitable for modern building projects. They are used, for example, as solar facades, solar roofs or shading solutions. In the area of e-mobility flexible solutions with an exclusive design are offered with the specially designed car- and bikeport systems. Due to the patented production technology, building elements can be manufactured individually in terms of shape, cell coverage, level of transparency and coloring.

SUNOVATION researches, develops and produces in Elsenfeld/Main. Form the facility in Germany, close to Frankfurt, customers looking for special architectural solutions are delivered worldwide.

Award for the Gas Station of the Future with BIPV Modules by SUNOVATION

Gas Station of the Year 2012 – Innovation Prize

Tankstelle des Jahres 2012 mit maßgefertigten BIPV Modulen von MAGE SUNOVATION

The green gas station in Geilenkirchen with glass|glass solar modules manufactured by SUNOVATION, was awarded with the 2012 Innovation Prize by Zukunftsforum Tankstelle.

The "green gas station of the future" located in Geilenkirchen, a town in western Germany, is award winner in the Innovation category, which pays tribute to its new future-minded concept for gas stations. The concept centers on utilizing renewable energies in all aspects of the gas station. An ample arrangement of measures has been implemented in an area spanning nearly 6,000m² that enable environmentally-friendly, ecological operations at a gas station.

The roofing with solar modules by SUNOVATION provides the centerpiece of the gas station, stylishly defining it as an airy space flooded by natural lighting. The modules were implemented over the forecourt, the automatic car wash, the self-service car wash, and the vacuum cleaner stations. Nearly 245 custom-tailored glass|glass solar modules were installed over a surface area of 630m² to provide a capacity of 65kWp. The solar modules feature a transparent look and are integrated into the roofing structure. They create covered spaces with plenty of natural lighting, which gives the gas station a bright and friendly atmosphere.

The exclusive gas station, which is the only one of its kind to date, was completed in three months. “The use of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) puts the finishing touch to the concept of renewable energies regarding solar output and overall picture”, says Heribert Ley, general manager of SUNOVATION GmbH. The investment in innovation was rewarded since the curb appeal received the highest available score by the jury of Zukunftsforum Tankstelle.
UNITI Bundesverband mittelständischer Mineralölunternehmen e.V., a German association of medium-sized petroleum companies, hosts the Zukunftsforum Tankstelle event, which has become a tradition in the sector. At the annual event, an expert panel selects the gas station of the year, in addition to the offer on lectures and discussions taking place. Eight gas stations throughout Germany received this award in 2012. The jury evaluated the stations based on the categories of size, store-/bistro-/car wash-concepts, and innovations.