What are the relevant competences and experiences of the organization for the project?
Soltech has an unique combination of years of experience in photovoltaic solar energy, especially BIPV (Building Integrated PhotoVoltaics) and Research & Development. Soltech has been active in the photovoltaic sector since 1989 with a focus on specific markets with tailor-made products. Soltech started developing BIPV products in the late 90’s and the company’s goal has always been to introduce innovative panel concepts and designs. Soltech’s activities can be divided into three main product lines:
- Product development for industrial applications: this business unit develops autonomous systems, especially electrical, tailor-made products that require the design and manufacture of panels for each specific application.
- Tailor-made glass / glass PV panels: this business unit develops and produces tailor-made glass / glass panels for every project. With these activities a high added value in project engineering is achieved.
- BIPV roofing products: for this activity Soltech works closely with Eternit in Belgium. The products for this application are tailor-made and designed together with the customer and a continuous improvement of the product is carried out.
In addition to the above-mentioned business activities, the company carries out R&D activities. The research activities are aimed at testing new materials that are being considered for use in photovoltaic panels, the interconnection and lamination of solar cells with all kinds of materials according to the requested application. More recently, Soltech has focused on improving the aesthetics of PV panels, using printed and coated glass and introducing colored printed films into the PV panels. Soltech has a very flexible production line that enables a mix of R&D, product development, prototyping and specific production. In addition to the production, Soltech has the ability to characterize the panels, by means of an advanced solar simulator and equipment to perform electroluminescence.
What is the motivation of the organization to participate in the project?
Soltech has a strong focus on the continuous development of new products and the improvement of existing products by applying the most advanced technological solutions. This strategy enables Soltech to continue to compete and to offer their customers unique solutions. The main objectives for the development of Soltech’s products are the combined functionality (e.g. electricity production and the ‘classic’ function of the building element), achieving high efficiencies and improving the long-term reliability of PV panels. That is why participation in this project is perfectly aligned with Soltech’s innovation objectives.
Soltech is already recognized across Europe as the partner of choice in the early stage and early production of innovative photovoltaic panel technologies and is the strategic laminate supplier for many BIPV solutions. Once the heat-regulating foil developed in this project is commercially mature, it can be integrated into the Soltech product line.