ProSol TF, the latest solar offering from Schueco UK Limited,
represents a new milestone in photovoltaic products. Combining the
latest sustainable photovoltaic thin-film technology with
tried-and-tested Schueco aluminium façade systems, it has the
ability to set new standards in the design of solar façade
Thin-film cells have a number of operational advantages over conventional crystalline PV cells including the fact that they are largely unaffected by shading and can deliver impressive output values even in diffuse light or at higher temperatures. ProSol TF also has the added environmental benefit that its manufacture uses only a fraction of the silicon required to make conventional modules.
ProSol TF modules are produced in standard or large formats (up to 2.6m x 2.2m) and can be incorporated into double or triple glazed units ensuring their suitability for both cold and warm façades. In addition, they can be supplied as a ready-to-install, lean-to façade package for use on solid walls (for example, on a warehouse or any other industrial building) and as large louvre solar shading. By using individual laser cutting, colour selection and pattern printing, modules can become building design features in themselves.
The design versatility of ProSol TF stems from the fact that amorphous silicon thin-film cells offer a uniform appearance and can deliver varying degrees of transparency up to 30%, again by means of laser cutting. The result is that ProSol TF can be used for all components of warm facades, replacing opaque glazing in spandrel areas and transparent insulating glass in areas where views to the outside are desirable. In the latter instance, their use obviates the need for externally mounted solar shading.
The 'lean-to' façade is ideal for retro-fitting; it is a scalable modular system consisting of thin-film modules each covering an area of 5.72 m2. Fixing is simple, involving the use of only four attachment points and minimal structural loading; a ProSol TF installation of this type enables a building to make high returns from low capital investment in the shortest possible timeframe.
When ProSol TF modules are incorporated into large louvre blades, they serve three purposes simultaneously: energy generation, shading and building design. Moreover, their modular design principle with prefabricated system components means that installation is straightforward and the system delivers a high degree of reliability.
It is also easy to retrofit thin-film modules on a flat roof using the innovative Schueco MSE 100 east/west mounting system. This consists of a series of shallow V-shaped constructions angled at 10o that allow 90% of the net roof area to be utilised for the generation of solar energy. Fixed to loose floor plates and secured with traction cables, the rows of modules are ballast-free and structurally secure for winds speeds of up to 240 km/h. Because there is no puncturing of the roof surface, the whole system can, if required, be de-mounted and reinstalled elsewhere.
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