This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no° 737884.
Acronym of the project: STILORMADE
Action Full Title: Highly efficient non-standard solar modules manufactured through an automated, reconfigurable mass production processes delivering 30% reduction in costs.
Duration: 27 months – Ended 31st of March 2019
Context and objectives of the project
To address the challenges of energy and climate change, Europe has agreed binding legislation and targets for renewable growth to be achieved by 2050. As a technology nearing maturity and cost parity with fossil fuels, solar-PV has the potential to meet a significant proportion of the EU’s energy needs and represents a cornerstone of the European strategy for large scale deployment of renewable low carbon energy.
STILORMADE targets to meet the requirements of a mass market of niche application for customized (non-standard) solar PV such as:
- Building Integrated Photovoltaics;
- Public / Municipal Infrastructure: street lighting, road signs, etc.
- Industry: telecoms, maritime, aviation, infrastructure
- Developing Countries: solar home systems / lighting for off-grid areas, etc.
In this frame, an unmet market opportunity has been identified for the supply of high performance, fully customisable solar PV modules that may be manufactured using rapidly reconfigurable production processes enabling mass customisation. With technology leadership in the field of photovoltaic systems and automated manufacturing processes, Europe is uniquely positioned to reclaim manufacturing competitiveness from China due to the reduced cost of manufacturing offered by the innovation developed in the STILORMADE project.
This innovation uses the patented technology developed by S’Tile (France) that allows manufacturing modules with characteristics (Power, Voltage, Size …) that can be tailored to user’s requirements and offer design freedoms to fully integrate customized PV into architecture products without compromising performance or cost.
Founded in 2007, S’Tile is a French SME located in Poitiers. S’Tile develops photovoltaic solutions and manufactures specific PV modules tailored to the customer’s request. S’Tile is pure player of specific panels unlike most of the generalists. The company is committed to the approaches of low carbon footprint, made in France and closer proximity to its clients.
The Atominstitut is the largest institute in the physics department of Technische Universität Wien. TU Wien possess extensive experience in the development of silicon solar cells with non-standard design and PV-modules both at the university/laboratory scale and in real commercial production environments. They also have extensive programming experience for simulations, data analysis, and machine automation.
Acciona is a leading European company, specializing in construction and management of buildings and civil infrastructures under the sustainability principles. Acciona uses cutting-edge technology to develop and apply the most advanced materials, components, systems and solutions for sustainability and in particular for energy efficient concepts, design, construction, operation and recycling of buildings. It applies to new and retrofitted buildings while preserving a high indoor environment quality. It is partner of the European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP). It is also member of the E2B Association and belongs to the Advisory Group to the EC on the PPP on Energy Efficient Buildings.
DST-Cleantech Ltd specialises in chargeable systems and monitoring systems. DST have long experience in manufacturing and operating and monitoring solar operated off-grid products. They deal with solar solutions and developing LED-based illumination devices. The company is involved with development of Environmental friendly products and safety products for the business and public sectors. The company manufactures all the various electronic systems required to activate the products using solar energy and supplies its customers with the complete solution that includes not only the electronic systems, but also the required illumination devices, batteries, and solar panels.
S’Tile has developed a unique pad to pad interconnection technique to interconnect solar cells. This method allows S’Tile to develop specific metallization patterns to enhance electrical properties while improving general aesthetic aspect.
Efficiency of cells and modules is strongly dependent on an appropriate current collection. Specific metallisation were optimized in terms of geometric distribution and dimension in order to minimize resistive losses while achieving minimum shading of the active surface.
Three computer programs were developed by TU Wien (Austria) to optimize the design of the metallization pattern, generate cell layout and improve their interconnection in PV modules.
More than 1,000 variations in design (number of collecting fingers, finger width …) were tested and lead to a theoretical increase of absolute cell efficiency of 0.5%, hence values above 18% on multi-crystalline silicone with standard Al-BSF structures. Manufacturing processes including specific metallization process and pad to pad interconnection step of i-Cell modules were improved and optimized on more than 10,000 cells.
Photovoltaic module manufacturing
A technology production line for STILORMADE innovative modules was implemented in S’Tile’s premises in France. It was successfully tested by manufacturing modules with wide variability of technical requirements as requested by potential partners approached during a market potential and business opportunities study. This range of modules covers applications such as charging stations, solar Street lights, solar roof tiles, weather station.
Amongst module development, glass/glass modules manufacturing was developed in order to better address BIPV applications. STILORMADE innovation was successfully tested through load resistance (snow, wind, hails), long term performance and ageing (thermal cycling, UV resistance etc.). Market readiness was finally demonstrated thanks to successful testing to all relevant standards of PV industry (IEC 612215 and 61730-1,2).
STILORMADE specific solutions was demonstrated suited to produce non flat PV modules. Under the frame of the project, S’Tile developed a particular laminating process to manufacture modules with specific shapes (wavy or bended geometries). This opens unique possibilities to address modules for applications where unusual shapes are required.
Market replication activities
Replications activities were used to validate and showcase STILORMADE innovation. Targeted applications represented the two biggest markets requiring specific PV modules: Building integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) and Solar Street Lighting (SSL).
BIPV solar shading system for building facades
The STILORMADE BIPV shading element for facades has been installed and is currently tested in a real office building in Barcelona, owned by ACCIONA. The BIPV shading demo-system consist of the partial occupation of 3 windows galleries with 16 BIPV shading elements each one and a total number of 48 modules. Total power of the system is 9.8 kWp.
The STILORMADE BIPV shading element has been specially designed to improve the energy performance of the buildings through the renewable energy production and the thermal charges reduction. The customized design allows a great mechanical and aesthetical integration in the building facade.
The optimized electrical configuration strategy and the advanced manufacturing procedure, implemented by the French manufacturer S’Tile and the University of Wien, achieve a high power performance through the active area increase, the hidden of the inter-cell connections and the improved effectiveness of the cells’ ribbon pattern, with a good aesthetical result.
Solar roofing system
The STILORMADE innovative modules can adapt to any geometrical particular constraints found in buildings and improve the energy performance of the buildings through the renewable energy production. The customized design allows a great mechanical and aesthetical integration in the building. The optimized electrical configuration strategy and the advanced manufacturing procedure, implemented by the French manufacturer S’Tile, achieve a high power performance through the use of advanced pad to pad interconnection technology, while presenting visual appeal and adjustable transparency.
The STILORMADE innovative modules have been designed, installed and are currently tested on a real roof at the “Halles de Laissac” in the city centre of Montpellier, France. The implementation consist in covering a round roof with a total number of 865 modules. Total power of the system is 69 kWp. The generated energy will be consumed in-situ under a self-consumption regimen with injection of surplus production to the public grid. The clean appearance of the module design results in a great aesthetic solution for city integration.
The yearly power production estimated for the STILORMADE modules installed on the roof of the “Halles de Laissac” in Montpellier reaches 78,3 MWh/year. The system will contribute to decrease the electricity power bill through the photovoltaic power generation, but will also contribute to the development of photovoltaic energy acceptation. On site monitoring is in progress and demonstrates power generation in accordance with expectations.
Solar Street Light: TULIPAN model
The STILORMADE PV glass round module is specially designed to be integrated in Solar Street Lights (SSL). The customized design, the optimized electrical configuration strategy and the advanced manufacturing procedure, implemented by the French manufacturer S’Tile and the University of Wien, achieve a high power performance through the active area increase, the hidden of the inter-cell connections and the improved effectiveness of the cells’ ribbon pattern with a good aesthetical result, allowing a great integration in the Solar Street Lights.
Several demo-systems have been implemented in Spain with the aim of in order to demonstrating the feasibility of the product and gathering information from the final users and stakeholders of different sectors: construction, industry, energy, public, etc.:
- 2 TULIP units in the facilities of the Renault factory, close to Valladolid, Valladolid.
- 4 TULIP SSL units in the public garden located in the entrance gate to the new municipal library of Molina de Segura, Murcia.
- 4 TULIP SSL units in the facilities of Cosentino Factory, Cantoria (Almería), a marble manufacturer for design and architecture.
- 4 TULIP SSL units in the entrance gate to Hotel Calvia Beach The Plaza by Meliá in Calviá, close to Palma de Mallorca, Baleares.
- 4 TULIP SSL units in one of the road access to the municipality of Tudela de Duero, Valladolid.
TULIP SSL integrates the smart and dynamic control systems Sunna Core, especially designed for NiMh batteries, which includes a patented algorithm that control the state of charge of the batteries and automatically dimmers the light at different lighting levels. The control system allows programming and managing the most suitable lighting profile, depending of the needs of the final user, in each season of the year. Remote management, real time monitoring and health diagnosis can be carried out with the help of the mobile application SunnApp.
Solar Street Light: DST model
DST CLEANTECH LTD has brought to this project many years of experience in order to integrate the STILORMADE evolutionary solar panel in it’s advanced street lights. Using a common “futuristic” design DST offers a line of street lights in varies heights and light output. The flexibility of this design helps DST to provide the best solution for parks, side walks, bicycle lanes, parking spaces, streets…
DST’s solar street light Main characteristics :
Solar panel’s output:
- 100, 200 and 300W
In order to enable installation anywhere on the globe and still get the light output you need, DST provides several environmental friendly options:
- All solar: a stand alone light with automatic night length detection, that uses only solar energy.
For times and places when the solar radiation isn’t sufficient for all night operation, DST offers advanced algorithms for dimming options or human presences detection.
- Grid assisted:an hybrid combination – a solar street light with night length detection, that uses solar energy.
Only in cases when the batteries are empty (bad weather…) the light start to use electric energy from the grid and continues to provide full power lighting.
- Grid timing: the solar street light uses the connection to the grid to “know” the on/off timing. Only in cases when the batteries are empty (bad weather…) the light start to use electric energy from the grid and continues to provide full power lighting.