Edition 23, 2011
Innovative material mix for solar modules with insulating effect

The sun catchers

  • Materials specialist: Dr. Reinhard Albers of Bayer MaterialScience still sees a lot of potential in innovative materials for advancing the efficient use of solar energy.
  • Solar heat and protection from the elements: the new air collectors can not only supply a whole house with heat, they also serve as roofing. That eliminates the need for complex mounting systems and a lot of tiles.
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Materials specialist: Dr. Reinhard Albers of Bayer MaterialScience still sees a lot of potential in innovative materials for advancing the efficient use of solar energy.

The world needs energy. In addition to wind power, the solar industry in particular is experiencing a boom and posting staggering growth rates. The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) estimates that photovoltaic panels will account for 9 percent of global energy demand by 2030. Europe is at the forefront of the European solar industry. However, a complex process still is often required to mount solar modules on rooftops to generate electricity or capture heat from the sun.

Roofing with added solar function
Plastics experts from Bayer MaterialScience have therefore joined forces with partners and engineered two innovative types of rooftop solar modules: a photovoltaic module for producing electricity and a solar air collector that captures the sun's heat. The collector helps exploit heat from the sun while simultaneously serving as roofing. Some of the innovative sun catchers even possess outstanding insulating properties.

Read here for more on the ready-for-market solar modules: