- HZB has brought online a new research building in Berlin equipped with CIGS thin-film solar modules
- It has the capacity to generate up to 50 kW electricity with each module having 135W power output
- It will enable the researchers to study the application in real life circumstances and compare it with yield forecasts
German solar research center Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has commissioned its new research building in Berlin whose façade consists of 360 CIGS thin film solar modules, installed on west, south and north sides. Apart from being an electricity producer generating up to 50 kW of electricity, this solar façade will be a subject of a live study for the researchers here.
The project was put in operation on September 6, 2021 with each module having close to 135 W of power output. The building is also equipped with additional sensor technology installed, comprising 72 temperature, 10 irradiation and 4 wind sensors.
All the modules installed are frameless. This concealed suspension allows the modules to be ideally combined with the metal curtain wall of the building. Studying the CIGS solar façade in real life environment, the researchers want to investigate the PV yield over a long term in various weather conditions, pollution and other factors. This would enable them to compare real data and simulation values of yield forecasts.
“For the first time, a complete structure with a façade-integrated photovoltaic system is being operated as a real laboratory,” said Dr. Björn Rau, heading the BAIP advice center at the HZB. “The extensive measurement technology enables new knowledge about the real behavior of solar modules in a facade in different seasons and weather conditions, over a long period of time.”
Inside the building, HZB researchers develop and build unique components for BESSY II and other synchrotron radiation sources.
HZB said it chose CIGS thin film modules for the building since it has a deeper understanding of the technology as many research groups at the HZB work with CIGS thin films, from materials research to the development of components, it added.
In December 2020, the institute achieved 29.15% efficiency for perovskite and silicon tandem solar cell, while targeting to exceed 30% mark (see HZB Team Aiming To Exceed 30% Tandem Cell Efficiency).