New PV system for facades, windows in Japan

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Kaneka, a Japanese chemical producer and solar panel manufacturer, has developed a building-integrated PV (BIPV) system in cooperation with Tokyo-based construction contractor Taisei that can be used for vertical installations in walls and window surfaces.

They claim that their T-Green Multi Solar system is multifunctional, as it can also provide heat shielding and thermal insulation. The system, which Taisei is selling under its registered trademark, is based on PV laminates relying on solar cells provided by Kaneka.

The company did not provide additional details on the cell technology and it is unclear if the laminates are based on the record-setting solar cell that Kaneka announced in August 2017. The 180cm² crystalline silicon device, which featured heterojunction and back-contact technology, achieved 26.63% efficiency.

Two versions

The system is available in two different versions – a solid type in which PV laminates are turned into vertical exterior panels or walls, and a semi-transparent type that achieves some level of transparency through striped solar cells that are integrated into window glass. “With these two types combined, the system can be applied to a variety of building exteriors,” the companies said.

The PV system can also be combined with storage and is able to serve as an emergency electric power source in case of natural disasters and blackouts, thy added.

Business expansion

Kaneka began supplying bifacial heterojunction solar modules based on its cell technology in November. According to its website, it sells three types of thin-film solar modules for building-integrated PV projects, as well as modules for electricity-generating windows and walls.

In its latest financial earnings report, published on Friday, the group said that it will ramp up its supply of high-efficiency solar products in a timely fashion.

“Concurrently, the group will address growth in demand by pursuing the development of a net zero energy management system for houses and buildings with a major construction firm,” it added. “It will also jointly develop see-through photovoltaic module products for automotive use with a major automaker.”