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Ruukki First To Offer Fully-integrated CIGS Solar Panel Facade

The firm says that its solar power system is unique because it is fully integrated into the facade of the building, both functionally and visually

Ruukki says it is the first company to have developed a photovoltaic system that has been fully integrated into a facade to convert sun rays into energy. The solar power system does not depend on the sun's warmth, only its radiation. The electricity generated is used either to meet the building's own needs or is fed into the electric grid.

The PV modules are based on CIGS thin-film technology, commonly used in solar cells.

The solar panel facade has been designed for application in buildings of a high architectural standard that comply with increasingly stricter environmental regulations. Developed and patented by Ruukki, the system is fully integrated into the facade and is the most cost-effective way on the market to make a fully-glazed facade that generates energy from the sun.

The system enables power to be produced even in areas with no direct sun rays since the technology can also utilise sun rays in cloudy weather. In snowy areas and next to water, the system increases output from reflected rays.

"The solar panel facade is Ruukki's response to the need to produce energy from renewable energy sources. The main message of the product is sustainable development and ecology, which are combined with Ruukki's newest technological innovations and the latest technology available," says Jouni Metsamaki, SVP, Building Components, at Ruukki.

In the facade of an average-sized office building in Finland, for example, Ruukki's solar panel facade can produce 18,000 kWh of electricity a year. This is enough to meet the annual needs of a medium-sized, electrically-heated small-family home. Output and capacity can easily be increased according to the area available and capacity requirement.

"The unique concept in Ruukki's solar power system is that it is fully integrated into the facade of the building, both functionally and visually. The almost completely black fully-glazed facade enables solutions of a high architectural standard," says architect Laura Paunila at Ruukki. No visible fastenings have been used and thanks to their even colouring, the PV modules based on thin-film technology are aesthetically pleasing, unlike, for example, panels of crystalline silicon.

A sun panel facade is ideal not only for office and commercial construction, but also for residential and commercial construction. The system does not limit choice of base materials or type of building and the facade can be installed in newbuild and renovation construction and on different bases.

A solar panel facade is the easiest and most effortless way for a building to generate electricity. The system is based on modular solar power or PV panels, which have been made from glazed PV modules and Ruukki's steel rainscreen panel system. The modules are almost black in colour. They can be combined with Ruukki's other facade products and are part of the Ruukki Design Palette range of facade products, which allow the size and shape of the other components in the facade to be freely defined.

A solar panel facade has a similar structure to Ruukki's Liberta rainscreen panel facade and is installed just like an ordinary Ruukki facade. The facade has been pre-designed and delivery includes all the components and supplies required at the site. Also the cabling system has been pre-designed. On-site installation is both fast and easy.
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