Invisible BIPV system covers building in Zurich’s city center


The head office of Schutz & Rettung Zürich, a unit of the security department of the city of Zurich and the largest organization for civil protection in Switzerland, is hosting a building-integrated PV system built with colored solar modules.

According to the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), which contributed to the project by providing color technology developed by its start-up Solaxess, the 76 kW solar power generator covers two south-oriented roof surfaces and is visually almost invisible.

The BIPV installation was developed with monocrystalline solar tiles provided by Swiss manufacturer 3S Solar Plus. The product is available in different gradations of green, blue, terracotta and brown and has a power output ranging from 80 to 170 W, depending on color and size. The short-circuit current ranges from 6.5 to 7.5 A and the open-circuit voltage from 13.3 to 22.3 V.

The PV system occupies two roof surfaces of the head office of Schutz & Rettung Zürich

Image: 3S Solar Plus

The size of the panel can vary from 985x720x6.5mm to 1,300x875x6.5mm, and the number of solar cells from 24 to 40. The weight ranges from 10.3 to 16.3kg. The product comes with a 10-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty. Its operating temperature coefficient is -0.375% per degree Celsius.

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“The tile color ‘terracotta rust’ is just one of many available with MegaSlate Flair,” said 3S Solar Plus CEO, Patrick Hofer-Noser. “Even complex roof shapes are not a problem. We take measurements on-site, and then the roof is totally covered in no time at all.”

The solar tile is said to be an ideal solution for protected historic buildings and the PV system in Zurich is claimed to be the largest colored rooftop PV system in Europe.

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