Development of a cost efficient, solar activated glass facade for heat and electricity production

Maik Kirchner, Dipl.-Ing. (FH)
Tel.: +49 (0)5151-999 523

Solarthermisches Glaspaneel
Solarthermisches Glaspaneel
Fassadenprototyp im Test am ISFH
Fassadenprototyp im Test am ISFH
The integration of solar technologies into the building envelope represents a demanding but promising alternative to common mounting systems. It enables the realization of high-quality architecture and can save cost for materials and installation. This approach also offers new options for the complex current distribution of solar thermal products.
In the framework of the project “Solar Glas”, we designed and implemented a solar activated glass facade for heat and electricity generation in cooperation with the facade manufacturer Konvortec GmbH & Co. KG and the insulating glass company Energy Glass GmbH.
Based on the manufacturer’s rear-ventilated glass façade system, thermal and photo-voltaic-thermal glass modules were developed and tested. The project focused on un-covered assemblies to be combined with heat-pump supply systems. For the thermal modules, we have implemented a new concept, according to which the full-surface enameled glass cladding of the facade is used as solar absorber. The main project challenge was the selection of a suitable heat exchanger and a suitable joining technique between glass pane and heat exchanger. The resulting solar modules cannot be distinguished from the conventional glass claddings, offer the same design freedom (color, geometry) and can be easily adapted to the specific project. The installation also takes place in a fast and simple way, similarly to the non-activated panels.
The results of power measurements on thermal and photovoltaic-thermal modules show the wide range of achievable thermal efficiencies in dependence of the specific module design (heat exchanger geometry, color and type of the pane, coating).
Finally, we have installed and investigated a large-sized facade prototype at ISFH. The long-term analysis confirmed the simple integration, the performance and the usability of these innovative solar modules.


Giovannetti; M. Kirchner; R. Sass; G. Rockendorf (2016): Enameled glass panels for solar thermal building envelopes. Proceedings Energy Procedia 91, 49 – 55.
Giovannetti, M. Kirchner, M. Albert (2016): Design Options for Uncovered Photovoltaic-Thermal Glass-Glass Panels, Conference Proceedings, EuroSun 2016, Palma de Mallorca, October 2016.

Industry partner

Konvortec GmbH&Co. KG, Schermbeck, Deutschland

Energy Glas GmbH, Wolfhagen, Germany

Duration of the project

01.07.2014 – 31.03.2017


The project „Development of a cost efficient solar activated glass façade for heat and electricity production” (reference number: 16KN014827) was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) based on a decision of the German Parliament. The authors alone are responsible for the content of this publication.

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