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Skanska launches 'first' perovskite solar cell film on buildings

18 Jan 2018

In partnership with Saule Technologies, this printable photovoltaic overlay generates power while helping to counter global warming.

Multinational building firm Skanska Group says its commercial development business unit in Central Eastern Europe will be the first developer to cover office buildings with semi-transparent perovskite solar cells “on a commercial scale”. Saule Technologieswill be the technology provider. The initial implementation tests are planned for 2018 in Poland.

Energy independent office projects are now getting live thanks to perovskite technology which is ready to be integrated into building façades. Skanska will apply the test-cells onto its projects in 2018, creating a significant milestone towards zero-energy and carbon neutral office investments.

The developer has exclusive rights to use Saule Technologies’ solar cell solutions, as stated in a license-based agreement signed by the two companies, in building façades and noise barriers across all Skanska markets worldwide.

Skanska commented, “Perovskite technology means benefits for the developer, tenants and communities – favourable implementation costs, lower energy costs and consumption, and lower carbon footprints. Saule Technologies has been working on the application of ink-jet printing for fabricating free-form perovskite solar modules since 2014.”

This technique allows the shapes and areas covered by each layer to be customized according to requirements. The stability and water resistance of the modules makes them ideal for the construction industry.

Advanced research

The company has conducted advanced research on perovskite applications in solar energy harvesting and optoelectronics with leading international universities in the UK, Israel, Germany, Italy and Spain. With a Japanese investor on board, along with support from the Polish National Centre for Research and Development and several research grants worth more than €20 million, Saule Technologies is now working on a large-scale, prototype production line.

Olga Malinkiewicz, co-founder and CTO at Saule Technologies, said, “Perovskite solar cells offer new opportunities to architects and construction companies willing to utilize solar power. Our modules are lighter, thinner and much more design friendly than the most popular silicon solar cells. We may customize the shape, color and size of the module depending on the needs of the customer and install them wherever there is a free area of the building. This also means not being limited to the roof.”

Katarzyna Zawodna, CEO of Skanska’s commercial development business in CEE, commented, “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges the modern world is facing and it contributes to extreme weather events that are increasing in frequency and severity around the world. As such there is increasing legislative pressure to run businesses in a sustainable manner.”

Skanska Group is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact since 2001. In 2009, as one of the first developers in CEE, Skanska introduced LEED certification to the office market and announced the implementation of the WELL Building Standard in 2017. Usage of perovskite solar cells for zero-energy buildings is just the latest innovation in Skanska’s sustainable building strategy.

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