SmartFLEX – Cost competitive solution for BIPV glass facades
One of our most ambitious BIPV solutions came from participation in EU funded project SmartFlex. The project started in 2012 as joint partnership with several manufacturers and R&D institutes across Europe. It consisted several key goals – cost reduction of BIPV products for end users, development of tools for architects to be able to use solar power in buildings easily and to reach wanted visual results, development of technology and needed products for simplified BIPV integration and later administration of such system.
The result of this project is an office building, located and functioning in Lithuania with “second skin” solar façade. 600 m2 glass façade was installed on south and west facades of the building with customly arranged solar cell grid together with glass / glass modules with blend-in design printed on top of a module. In this project 15 different types of glass-glass modules, reaching size up to 3,5 meter height and 1,7 meter width were used.
The SmartFlex solution stands out by its unique approach to designing the glass façades – as architects are free to use any shape, size, color scheme or custom design print and transparency, while achieving wanted efficiency and competitive price per square meter of this solar glass façade. Estimated cost for this ‘second-skin’ solar facade are similar as stone or metal facade. Knowing all this the price for this energy active facade was quite low, especially when compared to glass-window facades.