"A beautiful way of producing electricity" – colour-printed photovoltaic facade

The image shows the “Swissness” photovoltaic facade with the cantonal coats of arms at the Swiss Umwelt Arena
From left to right S. Summermatter (BE Netz), W. Schmid (Swiss Environment Arena), J. Schindler (ÜserHuus AG), S. Wittkopf (Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts/ÜserHuus AG), M. Augstburger (Schweizer Metallbau), S. Huber (Glas Trösch)

“A beautiful way to produce electricity” is the motto chosen by the Lucerne School of Engineering and Architecture, ÜserHuus AG and the Swiss Environment Arena to present the innovative “Swissness” photovoltaic facade.

​The photovoltaic facade (PV facade) shows all of the Swiss cantonal coats of arms in colour and was realised together by the Swiss National Science Foundation as part of the joint NRP 70 project “Building-integrated photovoltaics” as well as Glas Trösch, BE Netz and Schweizer Metallbau at the Swiss Environment Arena in Spreitenbach.

The facade comprises more than 20 multicoloured PV modules whose design and power yield can be compared directly with standard PV modules in the Environment Arena. The cantonal flags represent the diverse design options that were explained at the official opening.

The printed modules generate around 80 percent of the output of conventional panels. “If this succeeds in motivating more architects to consider solar energy, the increased level of utilisation will easily make up for the slightly lower energy production of the individual panels”, says Stephen Wittkopf, Co-Head of the “Competence Centre for Building Envelope” at the Lucerne School of Engineering and Architecture.

The output of the PV facade is continually measured and documented publicly:

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