Starting point for innovation

When the Facade Supplies Power

Nine partners from industry and research looked into the complex questions of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and laid the foundation for new product developments.

The test façade with different experimental elements. For more than a year, the output of the modules was measured in order to assess the performance and stability of the PV elements under real-life conditions. picture Dr Michael Grobauer /SFL

Specifically in Austria, where vacant space is mainly usedfor agriculture, potential installation areas for photovoltaicsare predominantly on buildings. Currently, only about2.4 percent of the photovoltaic systems in Austria are integratedinto the outer shell of a building. Not just roofs, but also facades,balconies and canopies could be used more for the installationof photovoltaic modules. The project “PV@Fassade” researchesnew options of how to integrate PV in buildings.


In the interdisciplinary project PV@Fassade, nine Austrian partnersfrom industry and research under the direction of the ACRmember OFI have developed new solutions for the complex issuesof building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). One of the mainobjectives was an appealing connection of the photovoltaic technologywith architecture, because the visual appearance of thePV facade elements is a crucial feature for the acceptance by thepopulation as well as the builders and planners.


As photovoltaic systems constitute the most appropriate form ofdecentralized energy production especially in urban spaces, itwas essential to develop technologically sophisticated, architecturallyappealing and cost-effective BIPV elements for installationin the building shell. In the project, which was funded by the Climateand Energy Fund for three years, the team set the goal todevelop solutions for BIPV elements based on a variety of buildingmaterials as carriers. The focus was on a compact wood-basedplastic tile combined with PV-active layers containing varioustechnologies.BASIS FOR NEW PRODUCTSIn addition to crystalline silicon technology, the PV-active layers(a thin CIGS layer and active CZTS materials) were adapted to therequirements of building integration. Optimised binding, laminationand assembly concepts were applied to form the basis forstable BIPV multi-material composites and facade connections.Also, the research team was interested in an appealing colourdesign. Different colour impressions were achieved by printing orcolour

"In order to integrate intelligent sensor systems in PV modules, we had to examine various PV technologies and different materials for their embedding.
Dr. Christina Hirschl, CTR Area Manager Smart Systems

"The beneficial and intense collaboration of the project partners from very different disciplines has made possible the successful implementation of the research results and knowledge exchange."
DI Dr. Gabriele Eder, OFI, Project Manager PV@Fassade

Project data & facts:

Title: PV@Fassade 
Projectlead: OFI - Österreichisches Forschungsinstitut für Chemie und Technik
Project funding institution: FFG – Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft
Duration: 3 years (until 06.2017)
Consortium:  9 partner
Partner: OFI – Österreichisches Forschungsinstitut für Chemie und Technik | AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH | CTR – Carinthian Tech Research AG | Joanneum Research ForschungsgesellschaftmbH | ertex-solartechnik GmbH | Fritz Egger GmbH & Co. OG | Sunplugged – Solare Energiesysteme GmbH | crystalsol GmbH | SFL technologies GmbH

Further Information


R&D Communication: Birgit Rader-Brunner
phonel.: +43(0)664-4884 712

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