Solar collectors as façade elements

The Prisma solar collector is designed to be mounted in different types of facade glazing systems in aluminium, PVC or wood, where the solar collector is installed mechanically in the same way as an ordinary single pane of glass. The glass is the load bearing component in the solar collector, and the solar collector’s free glass edge is used for attachment. Behind the glass is an integrated energy unit with absorber, thermal insulation and pipe fittings. The solar energy is converted to heat in the solar collector, which heats up the circulating liquid in the solar collector. The absorber is treated with a selective layer of thin film to make the energy conversion more efficient.

The solar collector has been developed with multiple functions besides those related purely to solar energy. The solar collector is an insulated wall unit with the capacity to transmit heat from the building facade, which reduces the property’s need for cooling, however, during wintertime it can also restore heat to the facade from, for example, a geothermal heat store and thereby reduce the property’s power requirement for heat, in other words, a solar collector that can work 24 hours a day, year round.

The energy from the solar collector can be used for various purposes, entirely dependent on system design, for example, reloading a geothermal heat store, heating water for heating and hot water, process heat, solar cooling etc. The only limit is the creativity of the architect and system integrator.