New production facility for vehicle-integrated photovoltaics in Germany


OPES Solar Mobility, a new joint venture between solar module specialist OPES Solutions and a German family office, is planning to establish manufacturing capacities for vehicle-integrated photovoltaics in an undisclosed location in Germany. OPES currently has a facility with 300 employees in Changzhou, China.
The new facility will use new technology to manufacture an advanced version of the “Solflex” module, with higher area efficiency and optimized behavior in the event of shading, the company says.

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According to OPES, Solflex is the first flexible solar module developed specifically for use in vehicles “because conventional flexible solar modules do not meet the specific requirements of the automotive sector.” Factors such as vibration exposure, resistance to ice shocks and application of high-pressure cleaners are considered. The adhesive tape applied to the modules has also been extensively tested on various vehicle surfaces. The specified adhesive bonding ensures optimum aerodynamics, condensation drainage, and quick installation.
“Trucks and vans have large surfaces that can be easily fitted with solar modules, as well as increasingly large battery capacities that simplify the use of photovoltaics,” said Robert Händel, managing director of OPES Solar Mobility. Research and development partners of OPES include the Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics (CSP) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE).

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