South Korean energy supplier East-West Power is partnering with Seoul-based steel maker Posco on the development of a building exterior material that integrates building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panels.
Under the terms of the partnership, Posco will develop and construct the BIPV materials while East-West Power will test the new products under real conditions at several sites.
The BIPV panels used in the new building material would rely on PosMac, a special steel manufactured by Posco, that is being used instead of glass on the panels' backside. This innovation is expected to solve the typical challenges of BIPV applications based on glass-glass modules, creating a strong integration of the modules with a building's structure.
“PosMAC features the highest corrosion resistance of all galvanized steels in the world,” Posco claims. “The coating layer consisting of three elements – magnesium, zinc and aluminum- delivers 5 to 10 times higher corrosion resistance than regular galvanized steel.”
According to the manufacturer, PosMac is particularly suitable for manufacturing electronics and automotive uses, as well as for marine solar panels that are susceptible to severe environmental conditions.
Posco said this new BIPV technology may also be used for applications in agrivoltaics or rooftop PV, without providing further technical details. “PosMAC has proven to be inevitable in building advanced structures which is the backbone of generating sustainable solar energy and bringing agricultural advancement,” the company said in a statement issued in 2018.
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