White and coloured modules developed by Swiss researchers (Prof. C. Ballif and PhD L. E. Perret from PV-Center / see picture) have put photovoltaic panels well on the way to conquering building facades – bringing considerable potential for the decentralised production of renewable energy.
The drab aesthetics of traditional photovoltaic panels, with their blue and black colours, often represent an architectural constraint. In order to resolve this problem, the CSEM – Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology – has developed coloured panels (in particular, white and terracotta) for optimum integration into the walls and roofs of buildings in our towns and cities. The principle is as follows: a nanotechnology film is affixed to standard crystalline silicon solar panels. Acting as a filter, it enables infrared waves to pass through to the solar cells while the surface reflects the full spectrum of visible light. In optimum conditions this results in electricity production of 90 to 130 W/m2, depending on the colour.
Text: © Swiss Cleantech Report 2017
Image: © CSEM