News and current projects from Sunovation

Fair Novelty at Glasstec 2016

Curved glass-glass solar modules in new geometries

Curved PV modules - Sunovation eForm curved 2.0

September 2016 – SUNOVATION, manufacturer of BIPV function glass for architectural applications, presents the largest curved solar glass module ever produced in unique geometries at this year’s “Glasstec” trade fair.

SUNOVATION produces customized glass solutions for facades and roofing with a focus on the integration of solar cells (Building integrated Photovoltaics – BIPV). All products are manufactured exclusively according to customer requirements. The aim is to be able to implement extraordinary designs with a high degree of flexibility and freedom, as well as to ensure the perfect aesthetic integration of the glass elements into the whole architecture.

With the silicone laminated glass construction developed by SUNOVATION, it is possible to produce even very large solar glass modules with a strong curvature in the known high quality. The modules impress with a choice of either convex or concave curvatures as well as printing that can be adapted to the aesthetics of the façade design. The glasses are thermally deformed and do not require a frame to support the curvature for installation. Due to the gentle embedding process, the modules are without any cell breakage and of high performance and durability.

The exhibits shown at Glasstec have the following characteristics:

• Composite: glass-glass module 2 x 6mm ESG curved / 2mm silicone gel
• Radius: 1000 mm in concave and convex design
• Dimensions: Height x Arch: 2280mm x 1330mm
• Surface: 3.03m²
• Weight: 97 kg
• Cells: 112 Mono Perc cells in black
• Module Power: approx. 520 Wp nom
• Printing: Full-surface printing on level 4

Glass facade with LED elements

Unique LED illuminated solar façade for an innovative company in Austria

May 2016 - SUNOVATION, manufacturer of functional glass for architectural applications, is manufacturing the solar facades for the new Omicron headquarters in Vorarlberg in the company's colours.

Austrian company Omicron planned for its head office in Vorarlberg an innovative and sustainable facade in its blue, red and yellow logo colours. For this purpose, a very elegant glass facade with blue as the main colour has been designed with high-efficiency embedded solar cells.

The multifunctional glass elements are custom-made. For the exclusive design, colourful solar cells have been combined with special coloured glass, creating an architecturally sophisticated and colourfully homogenous surface. This is only opened by the specific structure of the solar cells and their reflections, through which an interesting contrast is created. A special highlight of the energy-producing designer facade is the integrated LED colour display in the company colours. At night, this highlights the facade spectacularly and reflects the affinity for technology and innovative power of the company. "With this solution, we have created a sensational and unique facade for our customer, as unique as the business itself," says Stefan Koch, head of product management at SUNOVATION Produktion.

In total, the facade consists of 510 glass-glass modules and 90 LED glass elements that are specially authorised for vertical installation in the facade. The substructure consists of an extruded section measuring approx. 1,000m and over 1,200 retaining brackets, embedded in the wooden wall. The design as a "structural glazing" bonded joint enables a frameless suspension of the glass elements on the retaining profile that are each suspended at 4 points in so-called "bolt slides" in the substructure. The total production and installation time for this 780m² curtain wall took around 6 months.

Construction information:

Client: OMICRON electronics GmbH, Klaus, Austria
Architect: Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architketen, Bregenz, Austria
Facade elements: SUNOVATION Produktion GmbH
Facade: 780 m²
Photovoltaic facade elements: 510 units
LED glass elements: 90 units
Nominal electrical capacity 92 kWp
Calculated yearly energy output 66,000kWh/anno

New production site

SUNOVATION Produktion is increasing its production capacity and modernising its manufacturing processes

Production of PV modules

Dezember 2015 - Since 2015, the company has been supplying customers throughout the world from its new production site in Aschaffenburg, Germany.

Because of increased international demand, the old production sites had reached its capacity limits. Since 2015, the company has been supplying customers throughout the world from its new production site in Aschaffenburg, Germany.

This site has ideal transport links and it is situated logistically conveniently in the Greater Frankfurt area. As well as production, logistics and administration units have also been integrated within the production site. The glass module manufactory has an area of approx. 2,100m², around 300m² of which are for glass preparation and 200m² for the soldering of solar cells.

"As well as the pure capacity increase, there has also been a comprehensive modernisation of the machinery," says managing director Heribert Ley. Production orders can therefore be implemented more efficiently, faster and with a higher level of quality. "We are delighted that other customers, because of the new factory as well, see us as a leading supplier in our market segment," he continues.

Currently, the yearly production capacity is 48,000m² for flat glass-glass modules and 40,000m² for curved glass-glass modules. Around 75 people are employed at the Aschaffenburg site. The regionally ingrained company has consciously left its new production site in the Bavarian Lower Main region. Existing jobs could therefore be maintained and new ones could be created.

SUNOVATION realizes world’s largest solar glass project

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

Brückendach mit PV Modulen in Mekka

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.