Color solar advances the energy transition

The roof of the building on Weststrasse that houses the head office of Schutz & Rettung Zürich, Switzerland© 3S Solar Plus

Solar panels must no longer be limited to roofs if buildings, which account for 40% of global energy use, are to comply with new energy performance regulations. National energy strategies and incentives to generate electricity from facades, including in Switzerland, are adding to pressures to improve the aesthetics and availability of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). CSEM has helped accelerate progress and adoption by developing a special film enabling color-customizable BIPV, including the world's first white module, which blends solar elements into a building's skin.

Commercialized by CSEM spin-out Solaxess, the film has been eagerly taken up by module manufacturers and architects, making an impact around the globe. The technology is installed in homes in Denmark, university buildings in China, and flagship projects in Switzerland. In Zurich, the historic home of the emergency services now boasts a solar roof that looks like traditional terra-cotta tiles. For a residential project in Männedorf, the technology delivered on the architect's creative and energy visions with dual-colored, 100% active facades.