The overall objective of the research project “Façade-integrated photovoltaic systems”, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, is to develop building façades as a market for German CIGS thin-film technology as part of the requirement to exploit the entire photovoltaic production potential in Germany for the energy transition. The aim is to solve production and system engineering problems. Together with industrial and research partners, the overall system is being optimised by
varying module design with regard to energy yield, shadow tolerance, ease of installation and flexibility of the module size, and by adapting it to the other system components. Complementing this, the project participants are looking at the energy potential of CIGS façades with regard to potential electrical and thermal energy contributions at the building level.
ZSW performs design calculations, laboratory and field investigations at the component and system levels, as well as collecting operating data. The comparative field tests of the different system variants with regard to function and yield are conducted on the Widderstall test field. The operating data of the CIGS test façade on the new ZSW institute building in Stuttgart are used in a simulation of the energy potential of CIGS façade systems.
The illustration below shows that the output power of the three solar façades on the ZSW building produces a much more evenly distributed curve than a typical PV bell curve. The shape matches the electricity requirements of the institute and, by avoiding the midday peak, does not burden the grid.