Photovoltaic coatings, where are we?

Photovoltaic coatings, where are we?

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THE photovoltaic coatingsrepresent a turning point in the role ofsolar power in architecture and could be the flagship of an ecological house. Buildings, even newly constructed ones, are very far from being energy efficient. THEphotovoltaic coatings, also calledphotovoltaic tapesorphotovoltaic roofs, they can be applied anywhere and do not have the landscape limits laid down forsolar roofs.

Photovoltaic coatings, systems already on the market
On the market there are different types ofphotovoltaic coatings,all - more or less - can guarantee a good onearchitectural integration.We talk aboutflexible photovoltaic coatings,thin film or photovoltaic coatings that use a very thin ceramic plate with a thickness of less than 3 mm. Among the products we highlight thephotovoltaic coatings Skin Photonicssuitable for the construction of photovoltaic ventilated facades and Prefalz Solar photovoltaic roofing systems that exploit the potential of amorphous silicon to cover homes, providing significant energy savings.

Those on the hunt for systems capable of integrate photovoltaics in construction, must not underestimate the potential of photovoltaic tiles and photovoltaic adhesive, which are already commercially available.

Photovoltaic coatings, the dichroic coatings
Of greatest interest are thecoatingsphotovoltaicwhich since the early 2000s have appeared in bioclimatic architecture such as "Dichroic coatings",these act as selective optical filters or as solar concentrators upon spectral selection, they change color, manage heat and produce, together with other layers sensitive to solar radiation, energy according to external circumstances such as the angle of solar radiation or its intensity. Despite considerable technological advances, dichroic coatings are struggling to take off: an efficient production chain for the manufacture of materials is lacking and the need for cost containment looms.

Photovoltaic coatingsfor metals and glass
Not only for the design of an ecological house, the applications ofphotovoltaic coatingsthey are multiple; Since 2010, Tata Steel has invested £ 20 million in a program whose goal is to develop - at affordable prices - functional coating materials for metal and glass that can both replaceroofingtraditional, both act as production systems and (even) storage ofsolar power. Kevin Bygate, director of business development at Tata Steel, explains that the company is well advanced, even in this case the materials are not lacking but the manufacturing processes are still too expensive to make this type of integrated technology.

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In the photo above, the photovoltaic roofPrefalz Solar

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