Sustainability stories from 3A Composites: The contemporary urban power factory

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Imagine generating electricity where it is needed!

Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

But it is actually difficult in cities where roof areas tend to be small compared with the height of buildings, and their value as potential outdoor space is too important. And the energy yield which conventional building façades deliver is just not adequate.

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A team of scientists from the Institute of Architecture at HTWK Leipzig is intent on changing this situation. They want their solar façades to bring photovoltaic systems into dense, urban spaces,.

HTWK professor Frank Hülsmeier and his team have developed an energy producing façade with ALUCOBOND® tray panes in cooperation with 3A Composites. The geometry of the Panels is three-dimensional and silicon half-cells adhere onto the upwardly inclined panel surfaces.

TThe first company building featuring this façade is located in Bad Rappenau. 400 PV modules are spread over two hundred ALUCOBOND®tray panels, all around the building. The total annual energy generation is 10,000 kWh. Enough, for instance, to supply two four-person households with electricity all year round.

News Details 3A Composites GmbH
News Details 3A Composites GmbH

A digital, parametric design process was needed to achieve this: software developed for the Solar Shell calculates the optimal façade to produce the best light yield and, in so doing, the highest electricity yield for each and every location, compass direction and building. This obviously means that every façade has to be different; no location, no building shell can be the same as the next.

But, they do have one thing in common: they are all made of ALUCOBOND®, folded into lightweight but very strong factory-assembled tray panels Thanks to the folding technology and intelligent design, self- shading of the modules can be reduced to a minimum and energy yield maximised.

Using computer-controlled systems, ALUCOBOND® can be precisely cut, individually folded into very different shapes, bonded with PV modules and easily assembled.

The HTWK Leipzig research group won, among other things, 3rd place in 2022 Reallabore Innovation Award special sustainability category because of the exemplary way in which new technologies are turned into concrete applications and create real added value for climate and environmental protection,.

Developing sustainable and innovative products

PV modules

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Piece

Electricity production

0 kwh

per year

Project data

SOLAR.shell

Parametrically Optimised Solar Façades

Aluform Alucobondverarbeitungs-GmbH

Bad Rappennau-Bonfeld | Germany

ai:L Institute of Architecture Leipzig

at the HTWK Leipzig | Germany
Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Frank Hülsmeier, Stefan Huth (M.A.),
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Adrian Heller

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Bauhaus, Germany // © Stefan Müller

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