Engie installs BIPV systems at its Belgian research centre

Engie’s Belgian research centre has been retrofitted with a building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system from Germany’s Heliatek.

The Engie Laborelec building in the municipality of Linkebeek is a competence centre for electrical power technology. It now features organic solar faàƒ§ades on its south side and integrated into the windows at its entrance.

The HeliaFilm PV system covers a total surface area of 50 m2 and is expected to produce around 2300 kWh per year.

Heliatek said the project aims to research the ways in which solar power can be generated from a building faàƒ§ade.

Engie holds a 6.6 per cent stake in Heliatek, which it acquired last year. The two firms plan to install further BIPV systems on Engie Fabricom’s buildings in Antwerp by October.

According to Heliatek, the installation “shows how electricity generation can be combined with enhancement of the aesthetics and appearance of existing faàƒ§ades”.

Heliatek CEO Thibaud Le Séguillon said: “The completion of the faàƒ§ade demonstrates the ease with which HeliaFilm can be installed as a retrofit.

“Heliatek’s mission is to enable our customers to generate decentralized energy and at the same time encourage the use of new technologies on existing infrastructures, such as the buildings themselves.”

And Philippe Buxant of Engie’s research and technologies division said his firm aims “to meet the growing demand of customers for buildings with zero CO2 emissions and the lowest possible energy bills. The cost of these new photovoltaic films is falling all the time and we believe that they can be profitable without any subsidies.”

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