The Pierre Mendes France school in La Rochelle, France, has just released what has become the largest organic photovoltaic solar roof in the world, with more than 500 square meters. With this installation, completed in eight hours, the technology used, designed by the German Heliatek, was put into practice for the first time thanks to an alliance with ENGIE and the department of Charente-Maritime.
And this organic photovoltaic installation that can be integrated into buildings (BiOPV, from English Integrated organic photovoltaic building) we expect a lot. Regarding the school that opens it, The 22.5 kWp of installed capacity should generate 23.8 MWh per year. This equates to the consumption of five houses or 15% of the school’s energy needs.
However, after this staging, it is expected that this technology will spread to other buildings. Its creators called it HeliaSol, a transparent, ultra-light and ultra-thin solution for integration into facades or roofs of buildings.
Measuring around one millimeter in thickness, this photovoltaic blanket is distinguished not only by its perfect integration into any type of construction, new or existing, but it does so by pushing ease of installation to the extreme. This is demonstrated by the project initiated in La Rochelle. The, a team of six people did not need more than eight hours to set up a 500 square meter facility.
Not in vain, HeliaSol is presented as a solution “Ready to use”. For this, the photovoltaic cover incorporates adhesive on the back which is all that is needed to adjust it to the building. On the other hand, the technology is marketed with pre-configured cabling. For this reason, once it is extended and secured with its own adhesives, it is enough to connect the installation to start capturing the energy of the sun.
This simplicity is one of the main assets of this proposal which, with this first experience in the South West of France, takes the first step towards its general marketing. “Lightweight roofs, which normally do not allow the installation of conventional solar technology, will now be able to produce clean energy”, assures Thibaud Le Séguillon, head of Heliatek.
With its new technology, able to adhere to materials as varied as glass, concrete, aluminum, steel or PVC, among other things, this company hopes to reach the facades and roofs of any building that is looking for a simple and efficient formula to produce energy and reduce its carbon footprint, without compromising the safety and aesthetics of the building.