Belectric, DAW partner on integrated organic PV products

Belectric OPV, the organic photovoltaics unit of German PV group Belectric, has joined forces with German coating, paint and insulation manufacturer DAW with the aim of integrating organic photovoltaics (OPV) into diverse construction product lines.

Working with the Technical University of Darmstadt’s Department of Architecture and its Design and Energy-Efficient Construction division, the company’s plan to develop finished construction elements capable of generating electricity, thereby breaking new ground in the field of building-integrated photovoltaics.

"The development of these new elements will enable photovoltaics to be incorporated into construction projects without increasing complexity or workload and a uniform appearance may be created throughout the architecture,” the companies said in a joint statement released on Tuesday.

They added that the PV construction elements "deliver greater functionality that would otherwise need to be provided by additional conventional construction parts."

The organic photovoltaic components are integrated directly into the facade insulation systems produced by DAW.

The companies expressed confidence that integration of PV components in buildings would generate substantial interest among system providers.

"To date, solar power generated from buildings has been produced almost exclusively by roof-mounted systems,” noted Belectric OPV CEO Ralph Pätzold. "Generating solar energy via finished construction elements forming part of the building shell represents the next key step."

Helmut Plum, the DAW executive board member in charge of R&D and Purchasing, said the company had "set itself the objective of assuming a pioneering role in the field of sustainability. The construction industry in particular offers a huge amount of potential through the use of energy-efficient product systems."

The new partnership with Belectric OPC "represents the ideal match for our longstanding, eco-conscious corporate philosophy," Plum added.

Belectric, a globally active developer and installer of both ground-mounted solar power plants and roof-top PV systems, bundled its research and development work in organic solar panels in its Belectric OPV unit in 2012. Alongside its new Solarte range, the company is continuing to develop its Power Plastic product line, which is primarily aimed at large-scale industrial applications.

Established in 1895, DAW, also known as Deutsche Amphibolin-Werke, is Europe’s third-largest manufacturer of construction paints and the market leader in Germany, Austria and Turkey.