Wall of solar for German factory

Tuesday, 14 May, 2024 | Supplied by: Fischerwerke GmbH & Co. KG

Wall of solar for German factory

When a German manufacturer was looking for a sustainable solution to its energy needs, it decided against rooftop solar, instead opting for a streamlined solar facade.

Fenecon is a leading manufacturer of energy storage solutions, including systems for private households, commercial use, industrial purposes, energy providers and vehicle manufacturers.

Based in Deggendorf, Lower Bavaria, the company has been producing large container storage systems from electric vehicle batteries since 2017. Needing to expand its production as demand for its systems grew, Fenecon opened a new facility at the start of 2024. The CarBatteryReFactory site is located in Iggensbach, about 30 km north-west of Passau.

At the new facility, storage systems will be produced from zero-, first- and second-life vehicle batteries. In addition to the production site, the complex includes storage facilities, development laboratories and offices.

The new production, development, logistics and office building of Fenecon in Iggensbach. Image ©FENECON GmbH.

Fenecon planned to generate a large proportion of the energy for its new plant from renewable sources. The company was looking for suitable roof and facade surfaces that could generate solar power through photovoltaic modules integrated into the rear-ventilated curtain-wall facade. Fenecon’s planners and contractors decided on a facade system by fischer BWM Fassadensysteme with securely fastened photovoltaic modules. The system was developed in collaboration with Dresden-based module manufacturer Solarwatt.

“The advantage [of solar facades] compared to roof and rooftop systems is that the winter yield of solar facades is higher while the electricity generation is also significantly improved in the otherwise less favourable months,” said Benjamin Orths, who was involved in the project as International Product Manager of facade systems at the fischer Group of Companies.

Gaass Florian GmbH from Grainet, Lower Bavaria, was awarded the contract to carry out the work on the facade using Solarwatt’s modules. In total, 552 Solarwatt vision GM 3.0 style glass-glass solar modules were installed on a surface of approx 1050 m2, generating a peak output of 204.24 kilowatt peak (kWp). The solar modules have a general technical approval that allows them to be used for solar car park monitoring and facades without requiring additional securing.

fischer BWM Fassadensysteme supported the project managers in planning the facade, as well as developing a project-specific fixing solution. “This resulted in a completely secure system suitable in any area such as residential, office and commercial construction, as long as there is an anchor substrate,” Orths said. “With our substructure for PV systems, pre-sealed surfaces can be used and existing facades can be utilised to generate renewable energy.”

Solarwatt PV modules permanently and securely fastened to the facade of Fenecon’s new building. Image courtesy of fischer.

Fenecon’s new plant has a steel structure. While the parts of the facade not used for solar energy feature an insulated cassette facade, the PV modules are anchored into the supporting structure by a substructure. Vertical carrier profiles serve as a base structure for the horizontal ATK 103 PV clasp profiles, which were fastened to the vertical profiles with drilling screws. The PV modules were then hooked into the open C-profile of these horizontal elements with pre-mounted clasps attached to the back.

“We made quick progress thanks to pre-mounting the clasps with special screws that precisely fit the horizontal profile,” Orths said. The size (1780 x 1052 x 40 mm) and weight (25.5 kg) of the PV modules required comprehensive calculations that took into account the weight and wind loads as well as any necessary current regulations and standards.

The innovative design creates a streamlined appearance with no insertion tracks or brackets, as this type of architectural facade can simply be fastened with clasps. The resulting system is reportedly easy and convenient to install and disassemble as needed. fischer BWM Fassadensysteme described its facade as a permanent and restraint-free construction where modules are securely fastened and can produce energy for decades to come.

Top image caption: Large-scale PV modules — the solar facade of the new production, development, logistics and office building of Fenecon in Iggensbach (Bavaria) makes the building more sustainable and cost-effective to operate through alternative power generation from solar energy. Image courtesy of fischer.

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