Heliatek: Organic photovoltaics in the port of Duisburg


Approximately 185m² of Heliatek's (Dresden, Germany) organic photovoltaic films were installed on the façade of a warehouse of Duisburger Hafen AG in August. It is a sub-project within the cooperation agreement „Drehkreuz Energiewende“, which was established between Duisburger Hafen AG and the energy company innogy in 2016. The trial installation has 192 three metre-long HeliaSol film panels, making it the largest facade installation to date with organic photovoltaics (OPV).

HeliaSol is an extremely lightweight, very thin and flexible solar film that is produced in an energy-efficient roll-to-roll process in Germany. Equipped with a self-adhesive backing, the film can be applied directly to a variety of surfaces without further assembly efforts, and without affecting the structure underneath. With the project in Duisburg, the solar films were glued directly onto the metal facade of the warehouse. Ventilation or cooling is not necessary as the films do not lose power or efficiency at high temperatures, unlike crystalline solar technology.

The solar films cover an area of approximately 185m², and generate about as much energy as a 5-person household would consume annually. Due to the efficient use of materials and manufacturing process, the solar films produce 80 times more energy over their lifecycle than is needed to produce them. When compared to the CO2 emissions of various other types of energy production, Heliatek's solar films clearly provide the lowest CO2 footprint, with 20g CO2 per kWh.

With the German federal government's goals of achieving a virtually climate-neutral standard of buildings by 2050, the premises for this industry are set in Germany. Buildings cause about one third of all CO2 emissions and total energy consumption in Germany. One method of energy reduction for buildings, for example, lies in energy-oriented building renovations. This allows for a significant impact on the reduction of CO2 emissions. Heliatek organic solar films, and especially the ready-to-use solar film HeliaSol, are expected to provide an efficient and highly effective solution.

Caption: The OPV façade at the port of Duisburg (photo: Heliatek)

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