The idea of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) has been around for decades. In reality, existing products were not practical or economically feasible for large-scale adoption because of design limitations and poor aesthetics. The reason? Existing BIPVs were designed using an engineering approach instead of looking at the product through the customer’s eyes. In contrast, Mitrex develops innovative BIPV products that meet customer’s needs on a practical level—namely, competitively priced solutions designed to compete favourably with traditional cladding offerings such as Aluminum Composite Metal (ACM) or Precast Concrete Panels.
Customizable Patterns and Colours
Comparable to Traditional
Customizable Patterns and Colours
Various Panel Sizes
Comparable to Traditional Cladding Options
First and foremost, the adoption of solar panels has been hampered by poor design and limited choices. As mentioned, a significant advantage of Mitrex BIPV panels is that they are completely customizable to achieve the look of any surface material, pattern, texture, or image desired, including granite, porcelain, brick, wood, or customized graphics. To give more freedom to designers, colors or patterns are applied to the protective glass to conceal the color of the solar cells and conform to any vision. This is achieved through an innovative surface treatment that fuses the pattern to solar glass, creating a durable, fade-resistant surface that is self-cleaning for maintenance-free operation. And because the panels are frameless, in that they are mounted and wired through the back of the panel, they look exactly like traditional edge-to-edge composite cladding panels. Nobody will know that they generate solar energy.
Although applying colours and patterns to solar glass affects light transmittance, the dramatic increase in design options will result in a net-positive outcome for solar panel adoption as architects gain the freedom and confidence to include integrated solar products into their designs. Further, Mitrex is committed to balancing design and efficiency by using various arrangements of patterns to conceal the solar technology while maximizing the energy output. In addition, efficiency and colour technology are always advancing. We invest a significant percentage of our resources into improving the efficiency of our products. The truly revolutionary aspect of our product is the amount of input that architects and designers have. Our products will make it convenient for architects to incorporate solar technology into their designs by giving them the power of choice.
To simulate materials with different textures, we can use a textured glass facing. Depending on the type selected, the efficiency will be affected. However, certain options have enhanced efficiency without compromising on aesthetics. Specifically, solar glass features improved solar energy efficiency in comparison to a highly textured glass. With textured glass, more light is diffused or reflected, meaning the panel is less efficient. However, the texture can help give the facing a more natural look and feel. The facing glass options include low iron, matte solar glass, pyramid solar glass, wood glass, rain glass, and satinlite glass. Although the efficiency is affected, electricity will still be generated, and beautiful aesthetics will increase the likelihood of adoption.
Another major limitation of most solar panels is that they are restricted to a standard panel size because of design, supply chain, or manufacturing constraints. Limitations in panel size hamper the ability of architects to design buildings with complete creative freedom. Mitrex solar cladding panels overcome this problem because they can vary both in size and shape, adapting to the needs of architects as required. Mitrex can manufacture solar cladding in many different sizes, including multiple panels with minute differences, based on architectural design needs. Our custom-designed manufacturing line creates a high-quality edge that ensures that each panel is flush with the next upon installation, resulting in a beautifully flat surface made of imperceptible photovoltaics.
Mitrex solar cladding panels are designed to compete favourably with non-solar cladding solutions—namely ACM, Precast Concrete, and other types of cladding panels. Mitrex Solar Cladding compares favourably with ACM panels in several areas, including price, quality, strength, weight, and design customization. In addition, Mitrex panels are fade-resistant, and practically maintenance-free. Compared to Precast Concrete Panels, Mitrex panels are much lighter, easier to install, and do not need the building to be reinforced to accommodate the added weight of Precast Concrete Panels. Any way you look at it, Mitrex solar cladding is the right choice for any building, whether it is a new build or retrofit.