Alternative to black, in Germany they are starting to develop red photovoltaic roofs

Alternative to black, in Germany they are starting to develop red photovoltaic roofs

The pilot plant, created as part of the PVHide project, is made up of 224 modules coated with MorphoColor® technology and is capable of producing 90% of the energy generated by conventional solar panels.


Red PV in Germany

We already have an alternative to black and blue solar panels. In the German municipality of Eppingen, solar technology is changing color. He new brick red photovoltaic roof of a historic building in the city tries to blend in as much as possible with the tiles. For an aesthetically very interesting end result.

The establishment is the result of the “PVHide” research project conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, in collaboration with the module manufacturer AxSun Solar, the development and consulting company INTERPANE and the German municipality. The goal was to develop scalable concepts for cost-effective, invisible, building-integrated photovoltaics.

MorphoColor® Technology

When combining solar energy with the urban environment, aesthetics matter. Especially when it comes to historical or protected buildings.

MorphoColor® was designed and patented by Fraunhofer ISE to help photovoltaic systems integrate into their environment. Nail technology that allows you to color solar panels without using pigments or inks.

The solution is inspired by the optical effect used by blue Morpho butterflies. On the wings of these animals, tiny scales specifically reflect a narrow range of wavelengths, returning a beautiful iridescent blue to the eye of the observer. Scientists from the German institute have redesigned these elements by applying them to the back of the glass that covers the photovoltaic panels by a vacuum process. Thus, depending on the fine structure created, the glass can give the color blue, green or red.

Eppingen’s red photovoltaic roof

The first practical application of this technology, as Dr. Harry Wirth explains, was achieved last year by integrating green photovoltaic modules into the facade of the high-efficiency solar cell center Fraunhofer ISE. The aim was to create a decorative motif, while with the new red photovoltaic roof in Eppingen the emphasis was on discretion.

The completion of the pilot plant is an important step towards the large-scale implementation of MorphoColor®. Since producing the colored crystals, we have been able to greatly improve our understanding of optics and the angular stability of colors.

The new photovoltaic modules coated with MorphoColor® always show their intense color, no matter where the sun hits them.

Dr. Thomas Kroyer, project manager at Fraunhofer ISE.

The red photovoltaic roof is made up of 224 solar modules with MorphoColor® coatingwhich were installed on both sides of the roof, facing east and west.

The system offers a total output of 66 kWp and produces at least 90% of the electricity that a typical rooftop PV system would generate without the special coating technology.

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