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Products and solutions, 2002-04-15, 02:00 AM

Duisburg: Europe?s biggest Solartec® project

Attractive appearance and solar energy with steel

Europe`s biggest Solartec® project is currently under way in Duisburg-Beeckerwerth, where ThyssenKrupp Stahl is renovating the 1,400 square meter facade of its hot strip slitting facility and cladding it with THYSSEN-Solartec® photovoltaic (PV) panels from Thyssen Bausysteme, Dinslaken for an installed rating of around 50 kilowatt peak.

The new facade was styled by the Garnier industrial design studio and is characterized by harmonious color combinations on an undulating structure. As well as looks, the emphasis was also on utilizing solar energy. This triad of shape, color and function in an industrial building, designed to express the innovativeness of ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG, has been brilliantly realized on the hot strip slitting shop project, a kind of structural advertisement for the company.

Harmonious shades of green help the building to blend in with its surroundings while combining with the dark blues and violets typical of THYSSEN-Solartec® panels to provide a pleasing appearance which is gentle on the eye. The wave-like arrangement of the solar modules also provides an interesting yet congruous contrast to the straight lines of the building`s architecture.

Innovative solar energy system

Introduced two years ago, Thyssen Bausysteme GmbH`s THYSSEN-Solartec® PV system - comprising thin, galvanized and plastic-coated steel sheet with integrated solar cells - allows natural sunlight to be converted into electricity.

The solar laminate is made up of three layers of silicon solar cells applied to a thin stainless steel substrate. Each layer is sensitive to a different section of the light spectrum to allow optimal utilization of the sun`s rays. This makes for enhanced efficiency compared with other PV systems, especially under Europe`s frequently cloudy skies. The solar cells are interconnected via bypass diodes during manufacture to avoid module failure in partial shade. The thermal characteristics of the solar laminate and the heat removal capacity of the steel elements contribute further to the system`s efficiency, which is up to 20 percent higher than conventional PV units. And Thyssen Bausysteme offers a 20-year guarantee on 80 percent of the rated output.

Numerous projects realized

Since the system was launched, numerous buildings from houses and churches to indoor sports facilities and airports have been clad with steel-based solar panels or heat-insulating steel sandwich elements. For example, the roof of the Titus parish church in Hanover has been lined with over 200 square meters of PV solar elements which now generate some 4,500 kilowatt hours of energy per year.

And Thyssen Bausysteme has also made a name for itself beyond Germany`s borders. A terminal building at Philadelphia International Airport is currently being clad with over 35,000 square meters of THYSSEN-thermowand® design sandwich panels. This facade system and the roofing system THYSSEN-thermodach® have positioned the company among the market leaders for heat-insulating lightweight steel structural elements. With its smooth silver metallic surface and invisible fastening system, this product lends the terminal building an elegant and representative character. The airport is scheduled for completion before the end of this year.

World innovation in the solar energy sector

With its latest product THYSSEN-thermodach®-Solartec, Thyssen Bausysteme has taken a giant stride into the future. The system combines energy production, heat insulation, structural support and enclosure in a single lightweight steel element.

The company has combined its proven heat-insulating roof and facade elements THYSSEN-thermodach® and THYSSEN-thermowand® - previously used mainly in industrial buildings - with its ecological PV system THYSSEN-Solartec® to create an alternative which is also suitable for the roofs of private and commercial buildings. The benefits to users are obvious: THYSSEN-thermodach®-Solartec`s large, heat-insulating elements can be fitted quickly, easily and safely. The substructures required for conventional solar panel systems are eliminated as the specially designed lightweight steel elements with heat-insulating hard foam system act as a substrate for the solar laminate.

For more information:
Thyssen Bausysteme GmbH
Thomas Kesseler, Marketing
Tel: +49 (0) 2064 68 85 01
Fax: + 49 (0) 2064 68 85 55
E-Mail: Kesseler@thyssen-bausysteme.com

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