Concentrating Solar Power
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) is used to generate clean electricity from the sun, normally at utility scale. It is particularly suitable for areas with high Direct Normal Solar Irradiance (such as Spain, California and the Middle East). In CSP, a set of mirrors is used to concentrate the sun’s rays on a central receiver. This heats up a liquid which is then used to generate electricity in a conventional thermodynamic cycle.
AGC solar mirrors for the Ashalim Solar Thermal Power Station
At the Ashalim Solar Power Station in the Negev desert in Israël, more than 50,000 computer-controlled heliostats, each made of 4 solar mirrors, track the sun and reflect sunlight onto a boiler (the solar receiver) on top of a 240-meter tower. The boiler heats up a liquid and converts it into steam. The steam powers a turbine to produce electricity. The heliostats are equipped with 750.000 m² of AGC’s Solar Mirror Thick (4mm), a highly reflective mirror that is extremely resistant to withstand outside conditions (sand, wind, sun) of the desert. The 121 MW Ashalim Plot-B solar-thermal project is to supply 320 GWh of electricity annually into Israel’s grid. The electricity generated by the whole Ashalim solar complex will be enough to supply 120,000 homes with clean energy. The complex will avoid 110,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year over the course of its life.
Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)
BIPV glazing has a dual role: it is part of the outer structure of the building, while at the same time generating electricity using photovoltaic energy. BIPV glazing is a laminated safety glass that incorporates either photovoltaic cells or an ultra-thin organic film (opaque or semi-transparent). As this energy-generating glass is an integrated part of the façade, it is not necessary to install separate traditional photovoltaic units on the rooftop.
SunEwat is AGC’s glass-embedded photovoltaic solution, offering architects an efficient and aesthetically pleasing solution for energy-generating facades. In addition it can contribute to the number of credits or points for LEED and BREEAM Green Buildings Certifications (see also our Sustainable Building chapter).
SuneEwat glass modules are produced on request: various sizes and electrical capacities are possible and can be customised for each project. They can also be combined with other glass products: double glazing, screen-printed glass, coloured glass, etc. AGC's SunEwat glass range includes transparent solutions for use in façade windows, roofs, seconds skins, canopies, and opaque solutions for use in spandrels and cladding. By leveraging non-vision glass, the entire surface of the facade can now be used to generate energy, maximising the building’s energy performance.
Hikari, Europe's first positive-energy city block
The new Hikari building – ‘hikari’ meaning ‘light’ in Japanese – in Lyon (France) was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. The first positive-energy mixed-use city block in Europe, delivers exemplary environmental performance since it generates slightly more energy than it consumes. The energy used by its apartments, shops and offices is generated by SunEwat Square solar glazing. Installed as a façade covering an area of 520 m², this glass, which incorporates photovoltaic cells, controls the amount of solar energy entering the apartments and generates 15,000 kWh of electricity each year, which covers a proportion of the block’s energy requirements.