Vitro Architectural Glass launches Solarvolt™ building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) glass modules
For overhead glazing, façades, balconies and sunshading elements, Solarvolt™ building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) modules merge renewable power generation with glass design.
Public Safety Building, Salt Lake City, Utah
Solarvolt™ BIPV façades can integrate structural, insulated and/or opacified spandrel glass for maximum energy generation.
PUMA Plaza, Herzogenaurach, Germany
To meet design and environmental performance targets, Solarvolt™ BIPV modules can be used with any Vitro low-emissivity (low-e) coating and glass substrate.
BedZED, London, England
PITTSBURGH, March 15, 2021 – Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass) announced that it has launched Solarvolt™ building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) glass modules, which combine the aesthetics and performance of Vitro Glass products with CO2-free power generation and protection from the elements for commercial buildings.
Solarvolt™ BIPV modules can be used to enhance various components of commercial building exteriors, including balustrades and balconies, overhead glazing and skylights, façades and opacified spandrel glass – all while passively generating solar power, reducing air conditioning costs and even replacing conventional cladding materials.
To meet a wide range of design and environmental performance targets, Solarvolt™ BIPV modules can be used with virtually any Vitro Glass product, including Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass, Acuity™ low-iron glass and the company’s full range of tinted glasses. Performance can be further optimized by using Solarban® solar control, low-emissivity (low-e) coatings.
“Solarvolt™ BIPV modules are the next step in enhancing the sustainability and energy efficiency of Vitro’s range of architectural glass products,” said Nathan McKenna, director of marketing and innovation, Vitro Architectural Glass. “We’re proud to offer yet another way to utilize our products to support increasingly stringent environmental and performance codes in commercial construction projects without compromising design or aesthetics.”
Solarvolt™ BIPV modules are available in a variety of configurations, including multiple solar cell arrangements and three unique photovoltaic crystalline silicone types for various effects on aesthetics and performance. The range of design options makes it possible to use Solarvolt™ BIPV modules to create dynamic, colorful designs.
“Solarvolt™ BIPV modules are an excellent way to bolster a project’s energy efficiency and stack sustainability benefits,” added McKenna. “If you’re already installing a wall, balcony or roof that uses glass, why not also let it generate electricity?”
Vitro will manufacture Solarvolt™ BIPV modules using both glass-glass composite — solar panels with solar cells arranged between two glass lites — and glass-film techniques. The modules will be available in sizes up to 98″ x 146″ and in thicknesses of up to two 12mm lites.
Vitro Architectural Glass has long been committed to sustainability as both the first U.S. glass manufacturer to have its entire collection of architectural glass products recognized by the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Products Program and the first North American float glass manufacturer to publish third-party verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for its Flat Glass and Processed Glass products. This latest offering represents Vitro’s recommitment to realizing the full potential for environmentally friendly glass innovations on a global scale.
To realize its offering of Solarvolt™ BIPV modules, Vitro Architectural Glass acquired assets from solarnova, a Germany-based manufacturer of BIPV modules with successful commercial installations throughout Europe and North America.
Solarvolt™ BIPV modules have been previously tested by Kiwa, according to IEC standards, under the solarnova brand. All Solarvolt™ BIPV certifications and warranties are registered under ILUMIMEX S.A. de C.V., a Vitro company. Solarvolt™ BIPV also is undergoing new certification testing to IEC, UL and CAN/CSA standards and is pursuing CEC and SGCC certification.
For more information about Solarvolt™ and its wide range of applications, visit www.vitrosolarvolt.com.
Solarban®, Sungate® and Starphire Ultra-Clear® are registered trademarks owned by Vitro. Solarvolt™ and Acuity™ are trademarks owned by Vitro. Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is a trademark owned by The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.
About Vitro Architectural Glass
Vitro Architectural Glass, part of Vitro, S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV:VITROA), the largest company of its kind in the Americas, manufactures a range of industry-leading, energy-efficient products such as Solarban®, Sungate® and Starphire Ultra-Clear® glasses at U.S. plants in Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Fresno, California; Salem, Oregon; and Wichita Falls, Texas. Committed to sustainable manufacturing processes and products, the company also operates one of the world’s largest glass research and development facilities in Pittsburgh and four residential glass fabrication plants in Canada. Upholding the values of “Together, We See Further” across the architectural, automotive and containers markets, Vitro strives to realize the power of partnership to ensure that projects meet or exceed ever-evolving sustainability expectations as well as glass requirements. For more information, please visit www.VitroGlass.com.
Robert J. Struble
Vitro Architectural Glass