“Welcome to the sun “, is the slogan of Wellsun, a Dutch company that offers its own solution for the use of solar energy in buildings. It is Lumiduct, a modular photovoltaic panel that fits into glass facades and that combines transparency and efficiency up to 40%, compared to 25% of conventional crystalline silicon cells. In addition, with this equipment, the facades take advantage of the sun’s energy to produce electricity and heat.
This proposal which “Optimizes the use of sunlight and improves the energy self-sufficiency of buildings”, according to BMW, was one of the three finalist ideas of the BMW Startup Challenge who ultimately fell into LeydenJar Technologies BV. This company is working on the development of a pure silicon anode that could improve the energy density of lithium-ion batteries by 50%.
For its part, Wellsun’s proposal looks at the aesthetics and efficiency of solar energy systems for facades. The goal, or at least one of the main ones, is move towards buildings with almost zero consumption. According to the regulations, this transition must take place by 2020.
For this, this company offers a solar module integrated between a double layer of glass for facades. On one side there is a clear glass panel and on the other, an insulating glazing. In addition, the solar panels in the system consist of GaAs triple junction cells. This solution, initially developed for space applications, raises the efficiency of these panels to 40% (15% more than conventional solutions).
To maximize the use of light, these modular and therefore fully scalable panels follow the position of the sun. With this movement, it is also guaranteed that those inside the building can continue to enjoy the view to the outside and the entry of natural light, especially when the sun is higher.
Lumiduct, which prevents glare and cooling or excessive heat issues in buildings, has another plus. According to its promoters, while other similar solutions do not eliminate the additional energy needs, these integrated panels offer the solution “Create positive energy commercial buildings”.
This is so because, they say, Lumiduct uses 90% of the energy that radiates from the sun. With it, in addition, not only electricity is produced, but heat is produced. This can be used directly through a device to transfer heat or, if you prefer, it can be stored.
To the savings in heating and lighting that this solution brings, we add the feeling it brings inside buildings, with sunlight without reflections, stable and sufficiently powerful. Thus, according to an analysis carried out by the Eindhoven University of Technology, which collaborated in the development of this technology, facades equipped with Lumiduct panels favor an entry of natural light between 1.5 and 3 times higher than the results. blinds. automatic.