PV installation costs to fall

It was stated that in contrast to ever-escalating construction costs, the cost of photovoltaic installations is to "fall continuously”.

It was also said that with building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), building operating costs could be met in part by electricity production. Therefore, façades could be expected to have a payback time of 10-20 years, depending on complexity.

Organized by the Department of Energy Efficient Construction at Konstanz University of Applied Sciences, the aim of the symposium is to promote the structural integration of solar technology, and in particular, to combine function and design.

Hartmut Maurus, architect and expert in BIPV at Sunways AG, presented a selection of buildings constructed with customized system solutions from Sunways AG to participants at the symposium. The spectrum ranges from residential and office buildings to high-bay warehouses. In addition, he provided information on the economic aspects of these types of solutions. An excursion in and around Konstanz gave the participants the opportunity to get to know the company and view buildings with integrated photovoltaic systems.

Within the framework of the Solardecathlon Europe 2010, Sunways AG is supporting the "home+" building project by Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences. The university’s Faculty of Architecture and Design aims to show that photovoltaics can be used as a means of combining sophisticated architecture with energy production. Modern solar modules, integrated into the roof or the façade, are “eminently suitable design elements for building façades and in-roof installations”. Sunways is supplying colored solar cells for the project.

Commenting on the company’s involvement in building-integrated photovoltaics, Michael Wilhelm, chairman of the Management Board of Sunways AG, said: "Many of today’s office, functional and official buildings are glass and steel constructions and, as such, eminently suitable for the application of building-integrated photovoltaics.

"With an eye on sustainable energy supply, we can see considerable growth potential for the future here. BIPV is an exceptional option to combine individual building design with regenerative energy production."

Solardecathlon is the global event for young creative architects addressing the building integration of renewable energies. Twenty selected university teams from all over the world are participating in this competition. They have to design and build a residential building powered entirely by solar energy. In June 2010, the houses of all the teams will then be put on public display and the winners chosen in Madrid, Spain.