Chinese thin-film giant Hanergy, which has been busily diversifying its PV offering through applications such as its “Humbrella”, claims it has opened a “a brand new … BIPV market” segment, with its new Hanwall product for skyscrapers.
The PR literature accompanying a glitzy launch of what the company describes as “the world's first integrated solar powered wall solution” proclaimed: “With the launch of this next-generation BIPV module and solution, Hanergy sets the standard for future ecological buildings and ups the ante in the BIPV segment.”
With the Hanwall said to generate 326 kW daily for every 1000m2 of the product, a Hanergy spokesman told pv magazine the innovation is providing around 30% of the energy needs of the 86m high OTM Mansion building in Heyuan, Guangdong, where it has been installed.
“The total surface area of the project is over 14,000m2, and adopted 2,506 pieces of HanWall basic modules. It is estimated that it generates 210,000 kwh of electricity annually,” said the company representative.
Eco buildings program launched
The spokesman added the new product – which was unveiled in seven cities worldwide at the end of September – is suitable for retrofit as well as new-build office blocks, and its performance in low-light conditions could mitigate the effects of shading, given the tendency of skyscrapers to cluster in city centers.
“By the professional design [and] reasonable layout, as well as HanWall’s excellent electricity generation capability in low light, HanWall can still achieve a good performance, reducing … building energy consumption and improving the quality of the building,” added the spokesman.
The Hanergy representative conceded cleaning staff on buildings where the Hanwall is installed may have to undergo extra training, such as using insulation suits to avoid electric shock, but said the regularity of cleaning would not change from standard glass walls and windows.
To coincide with the launch of the HanWall, the thin-film manufacturer announced plans to team up with the U.S. Green Building Council to found the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building and Renewable Energy Commission, which will identify buildings which are either LEED certified or applying for certification, and could benefit from the HanWall.
Will HanWall draw Trump's gaze?
The Hanergy spokesman told pv magazine some projects would be given the Hanwall – which comes in four colors and various sizes – free or at a discounted price, with the criteria for qualifying for such an offer to be finalized by the end of the year. He added, the first 100 buildings are expected to be selected by the end of 2019 and Hanergy hopes more organizations will come on board after the commission's initial “100 New Eco Landmarks” campaign.
The Hanergy representative did not state whether the HanWall would be caught by U.S. President Donald Trump‘s Section 201 tariffs on solar products imported from China, saying only: “High efficiency BIPV products are up for strong demand for [the] global construction industry. HanWall has its exclusivity in technology and targeting. Therefore, Hanergy is confident that, with our global strategy and accumulated technological advantages, we will be able to open the global markets, including the United States.”
Hanergy completed the global launch of the product – which it claims can withstand a grade 12 typhoon and temperatures from -40C to 85C – in Dubai, by signing a deal to incorporate it and other thin-film products into Oman's Chinatown commercial project.
The company has been active worldwide, and signed a $130 million pre-supply deal last month with the FGS solar subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Forest Group, for the supply of its HanTile solar roofing tile. The Chinese company said at the time, it is aiming to corner “at least 30%” of the Japanese home PV market within three years.
And the solar manufacturer this morning announced it is trying to enter the South African market, after showcasing its Humbrella in the nation at an event held to celebrate what would have been Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday.
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