Solar Facades
Solarsiedlung Freiburg
Solarsiedlung Freiburg

Solar energy is not only gained from the rooftop but also from the building’s outside walls. If all building facades facing east, south, and west were used to produce energy, then the building could even transform itself from an energy user to an energy supplier (Energy-Gaining Building, Plus-Energy Building).

Solar facades can be equipped with photovoltaic modules, thermal collectors, air collectors, honeycomb air collectors or transparent heat insulation. Even a hung-up glass glazing with a large surface area, such as is sometimes used for climate control in office buildings, or a simple glass covering effectively making balconies into sunrooms or winter gardens can be considered a solar façade. A uniform or standard solar façade technology does not exist. Depending on the building and the desired results there are various solutions when constructing a solar façade. Such things as heating, ventilation, and climate control of the building must be taken into consideration.

Architecturally innovative solar facades are found at newly constructed buildings as well as at older buildings being renovated. In Germany, some well-known examples include the Freiburg Main Train Station, the 1.400 square meter photovoltaic facade of the ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG in Duisburg, the largest CIS-Photovoltaic facade in Ulm or the award winning facade of a sports arena in Tübingen

The world famous architecture Sir Norman Foster equipped many of his buildings with solar facades.

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