13 March 2023
BIPVBOOST pilot (Kubik Building, TECNALIA), prelude to SEAMLESS-PV. Credits: ETA-Florence & TECNALIA.
The dawn of a new phase for Integrated Photovoltaics: the launch of the SEAMLESS-PV project
Photovoltaic (PV) technology has a major advantage compared to other renewable energy sources; it can be easily integrated in buildings, infrastructure, electric vehicles and in agriculture, resulting in multifunctional applications. This is what we call Integrated PV (IPV), where photovoltaics are embedded into components fulfilling other functions, exploiting modularity and synergies of use.
Seeking to push forward this concept, the SEAMLESS-PV project, an ambitious initiative funded by the Horizon Europe research programme has been launched in Bilbao, where the project partners met for the project kick-off meeting, hosted by the coordinator, TECNALIA. The consortium is composed by 18 partners from 5 EU member states (Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium) and Switzerland.
The main project objectives are:
- The development of a set of advanced flexible automated PV manufacturing equipment based on high efficiency c-Si technologies, including PERC, IBC, back-contact and HJT technologies. Compatibility with upcoming cell formats (M6-M10-M12) and interconnection technologies (including multi-busbar, wire, back-contact, electrically conductive adhesives (ECA) and shingling) will be ensured.
- To address the industrialization of new manufacturing processes that present key advantages (e.g., lightness, enhanced integrability) and cost reductions, enabling their seamless integration into final applications.
- The development of a set of IPV products demonstrating high efficiency, cost-competitiveness and compliance with market requirements referencing standardization frameworks.
The project will demonstrate the new equipment and manufacturing processes in real industrial environments. Six pilot lines hosted by industrial partners will be set-up in the project. In addition, the new manufacturing capacity will be used to build 11 different demo cases across Europe, in particular:
- Five demonstrations of Building-Integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) in Italy (2), France, Belgium, and Switzerland, covering different building typologies.
- A new PV noise barrier, installed in the A-8/AP-8 highway at the Bizkaia Connected Corridor (BCC), a living lab infrastructure managed by TECNALIA in collaboration with the Bizkaia Regional Council.
- A demonstration of Vehicle-Integrated photovoltaics (VIPV), with the application of lightweight solar panels on three different vehicles from Sono Motors, in Germany.
- Two demonstrations in the AGRI sector, addressing open agriculture and multi-span greenhouse use cases.
The consortium is composed by reference research institutes and industrial players, covering key roles along the IPV value chain of various sectors, including equipment manufacturers, IPV product manufacturers and end users in each sector, among others: Mondragon Assembly, Becquerel Institute, PIZ srl, ETA Florence – renewable energies, ONYX Solar, SONO Motors, CEA, BECSA, BRANKA solutions, Format D2, AKUO Energy, Optimal Computing, Finproject SpA, CASA S.P.A., SUPSI, 3S Swiss Solar Solutions AG and CSEM.
The project started on the 1st January 2023 and will finish on the 31st December 2026.