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Originally published in Interiors & Sources

05/27/2011

The First Fully-Integrated Solar Panel Facade

 
Solar-Panel-Facade

Ruukki is the first company to develop a photovoltaic system that has been fully integrated into a facade.  This solar power system does not depend on sun warmth, only radiation, and the electricity generated is used to meet the building’s own power needs or fed into the electricity grid.

The solar panel facade has been designed for application in buildings of a high architectural standard that comply with increasingly stricter environmental regulations. 

The system enables power to be produced even in areas with no direct sun rays since the technology can also utilize sun rays in cloudy weather. In snowy areas and next to water, the system increases output from reflected rays.

"The unique concept in Ruukki's solar power system is that it is fully integrated into the facade of the building, both functionally and visually. The almost completely black fully-glazed facade enables solutions of a high architectural standard," says architect Laura Paunila at Ruukki. No visible fastenings have been used and thanks to their even coloring, the PV modules based on thin-film technology are aesthetically pleasing, unlike, for example, panels of crystalline silicon.

In the facade of an average-sized office building in Finland, for example, Ruukki's solar panel facade can produce 18,000 kWh of electricity a year.

This is enough to meet the annual needs of a medium-sized, electrically-heated small-family home. Output and capacity can easily be increased according to the area available and capacity requirement.

These sun panel facades are suitable for office, commercial, and even residential construction.

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