Covering office buildings in solar cells now a reality

Warsaw, 17th January 2018

The 140 year old Skanksa Group, one of the biggest building and developer companies in the world, will be the first in the world to cover office buildings with semi-transparent perovskite solar cells on a commercial scale.

The perovskite solar cells will be provided by Saule Technologies, a leader in the commercialization of perovskites as the new generation of photovoltaic cells.

The initial implementation tests are planned for 2018 in Poland, and the promise is that this kind of technology will revolutionize the approach to energy self-sufficient buildings.

Perovskites are crystalline materials that are showing great potential to replace silicon – currently the world’s most popular semiconductor ifor solar cell use. The material is thin and flexible, which gives it advantages over silicon in many applications. Saule has developed a process by which the perovskites can be applied to cells using ink-jet printing. Not only is this cost-effecitve, it also allows the shapes and areas covered by each layer to be customized according to needs.

“Perovskite solar cells offer new opportunities to architects and construction companies willing to utilize solar power.“ says Olga Malinkiewicz, co-founder and CTO at Saule Technologies. “Our modules are lighter, thinner and much more design-friendly than the most popular silicon solar cells. We can customize shape, color and size of the module and are not limited to placing them on the roof. They can be installed wherever there is a free area on the building.”

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Distribution by Skanksa provides huge new vistas of opportunities for use of the cell in construction and development.

Katarzyna Zawodna, the CEO of Skanska’s commercial development business in CEE countries (Central and Eastern European) enthused: “It is not a science-fiction vision anymore. Working with talented scientists from Saule, we are now turning fiction into reality and creating buildings which are more energy efficient and carbon neutral. Up to now this has not been possible on a large scale.”

Sweden-based Skanska is no novice when it comes to energy efficient technologies and materials in building and development. The company has been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact since 2001,  introduced LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification to the CEE office market in 2009 and announced the implementation of the WELL Building Standard in 2017.

WELL is a performance-based system for measuring and certifying features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.

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