SABIC leads the curve with first polycarbonate BIPV panels featuring design flexibility, thermal insulation & energy production in one solution
With approximately 70 gigawatts (GW) of cumulative global installations, photovoltaic (PV) systems represent the third most important renewable energy source – after hydroelectric and wind power – in terms of capacity. As demand for solar power rises, SABIC is helping to drive the feasibility and integration of this increasingly preferred energy source having launched the first polycarbonate (PC) building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panels for roofing, cladding and glazing applications.
This innovative solution from SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business, called LEXAN™ BIPV panel, provides architects and builders with enhanced design freedom, thermal insulation, easy installation and energy production in a single, integrated solution. Created through a close collaboration between SABIC and Solbian Energie Alternative, an innovative flexible photovoltaic (PV) production company, LEXAN™ BIPV panels combine tough, lightweight, transparent LEXAN Thermoclear™ PC sheet with flexible PV laminated crystalline cells from Solbian and are available in a broad range of structures, configurations and colors.
“The new LEXAN BIPV panels show SABIC’s commitment to challenging the status quo to find better solutions and create practical innovations for customers in the building and construction industry,” said Jack Govers, SABIC general manager, Specialty Film & Sheet. “Our collaboration with Solbian has created a technology that can transform conventional roofing and glazing systems and provide new choices for the integration of solar systems into building designs across the globe. We take pride delivering the performance architects and builders expect when achieving their sustainability goals and powering their competitive advantage.”
“Our successful collaboration with SABIC has resulted in a very new, high-performance solution that will no doubt drive broader adoption of photovoltaics across many types of commercial and residential structures and geographies,” said Enrique Garcia, president, Solbian Energie Alternative. “SABIC’s drive to constantly enhance its materials opens up new opportunities for its customers and we are happy that Solbian can contribute to this success.”
Elegant Curves, Practical Performance
One of the top benefits of LEXAN BIPV panels is design freedom. Compared to traditional BIPV materials, the SABIC panels can be easily cold bended on site to form graceful, curved roofing systems. By using semi-transparent LEXAN BIVP panel modules designers can create unique day-lighting features in façade, roofing or skylight systems. In addition, the new panels provide high performance, beginning with excellent thermal insulation and light management that are hallmarks of LEXAN Thermoclear sheet. The new panels can reduce energy consumption by up to 17 percent vs. traditional high-return, double-pane glass glazing.
High Demand for Green Building Materials
The drive to reduce energy consumption is one of the highest priorities in building and construction today. BIPV panels are increasingly being incorporated into the construction of new buildings as a principal or ancillary source of electrical power, although existing buildings may be retrofitted with BIPV modules as well.
The new LEXAN BIPV panels comply with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) EN ISO/IEC 17025, EIC 61215 and IEC 61730-2 standard certifications and contribute to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification system.