HZB uses electricity-producing house facade as »real laboratory«

German Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has put the solar facade of a new research building into operation. The system has an output of 50 kilowatts. »For the first time, a complete building with a façade-integrated photovoltaic system is being operated as a real-lab. The extensive measurement technology enables new insights into the behavior of solar modules in a facade during different seasons and weather conditions over a long period of time,« says Björn Rau, head of the HZB-based Advisory Office for Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BAIP).
The »real lab« consists of 360 frameless CIGS thin-film solar modules installed on three facades (west, south and north sides). Each module has an output »of approximately 135 watts,« according to the scientists. In addition, they said, 72 temperature sensors, ten irradiance sensors and four wind sensors have been installed, which are used for long-term study of yields as a function of environmental factors (pollution), weather conditions (sun, wind, reflection) and compass directions.
The building houses a clean room as well as laboratories and assembly stations. Scientists develop components for synchrotron radiation sources.

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