SmartFlex, a three-year project part-funded by the EU, has completed a factory that will manufacture individually-designed solar facades.
The facility, belonging to Lithuanian solar systems manufacturer Via Solis, is located in Vilnius, Lithuania, and has a production capacity of 50MW and is powered by 100% renewable energy. The building was constructed of an investment of €37 million (US$46.7 million).
Rimvydas Karoblis, CEO of Via Solis, said: “Architects repeatedly find that their designs for solar facade elements are either technically impossible or too expensive to implement. Our production line is set to change this and will even allow unusual solar facades to be constructed. We decided to use highly innovative production methods: Thermo sealing with butyl, for example, ensures that our crystalline modules last for a long time.”
The factory will be able to create modules measuring up to 1.7 metres by 3.5 metres with a top output of 750 watts peak.
Dr. Juras Ulbikas of the Applied Research Institute for Prospective Technologies (ProTech) in Vilnius, who is coordinating the SmartFlex project, said: “Via Solis uses the colored, semi-transparent solar glass that has been developed by the innovative glass manufacturer Glassbel and is already used in standard glass facades. The data relating to the required shapes, colors and sizes of the solar elements is directly transferred from the architect’s planning software to the production line.”