Sunlight releases electrons in the semiconductor layer of the ASI solar cell. This layer is divided into stripes that form solar cells and are connected electrically in series.
Photo: SCHOTT/J. Meyer
Razor-Thin Solar Radiation Converters
High-capacity thin-film solar modules expand the planning horizons for architects and project developers.
The roof of the aboveground subway station Stillwell Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, fulfills several functions. The airy steel glass construction protects passengers from the wind and rain and shields the surrounding neighbors from the noise of the platform. ”One innovative aspect is that shadow donors integrated into the roof simultaneously produce two-thirds of the electricity the subway station needs,” says Dr. Lawrence L. Kazmerski, a respected expert on photovoltaics at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. This was made possible by the fact that 5,500 square meters of thin-film modules (= 2,800 modules) from SCHOTT Solar were integrated into the bold glass mantle. As this example demonstrates, when glass is combined with integrated system solutions, this opens up extraordinary design possibilities. The up-and-coming discipline of solar architecture in particular is relying on glass elements in facades or on top of roofs to offer futuristic system solutions that create the link between esthetics and increasing demands for climate-compatible power generation.
Futuristic technology of thin-film solar modules – e. g. at »Stillwell Avenue Station« – combines customized designs of facades and roofs with environmentally friendly generation of electrical power.
Photo: SCHOTT/P. Heilmann
Thin-film modules were integrated into this staircase designed with Artista® colored glass.
Photo: SCHOTT/A. Sell
ASI thin-film modules set new standards, particularly with respect to efficiency. They require substantially less silicon, which saves costs. Besides, even with a less favorable roof orientation or slope and in warmer regions, they produce a higher energy yield than crystalline modules. This definitely pays off. ”A very large share of our manufacturing capacity through the year 2010 has already been bought,” says Dr. Robert Kuba, Managing Director of Thin-Films at SCHOTT Solar, who views the future rather optimistically. ”By 2010, we plan to expand our production capacities in the area of thin-film to 100 megawatts per year,” he adds.
Alliance for the joint development of micromorphous technology
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