The amount of sunlight that hits the earth in one hour provides more power than the entire world consumes in one year.
Photovoltaic cells are required to convert this source of unlimited, clean energy. However, the adoption of solar technology has traditionally been limited by size, aesthetic options, and land area needed. Mitrex offers solar technology that is aesthetically pleasing and can be integrated onto every available surface, allowing clean energy to be generated on a mass scale.
The BIPV solar technology is entirely customizable to achieve the look of any surface material, transparency, pattern, or texture, and a patented coating process maximizes energy generation and ensures the panels last for decades. We use monocrystalline or thin-film solar technology depending on the application and aesthetic desired. All Mitrex modules are safety-tested and code compliant to guarantee safe and durable solar building materials.
At Mitrex, we prioritize the high efficiency of the solar modules while maintaining design flexibility. From facades to glass, roof, or siding, Mitrex provides various solar building material options that make adoption easy.
Mitrex opaque BIPV technology utilizes a customizable tempered glass facing to mask the solar cells’ appearance while ensuring the panels have a high energy performance.
The opaque BIPV Solar technology is patterned with fade-resistant and UV-stable colours, meaning the panel’s designs will not fade like traditionally UV-sensitive materials such as wood. The coating materials are characterized by high solar transmittance, minimal absorption, and increased durability.
The tempered glass is also just as strong as traditional facade materials such as aluminum and concrete and resists being marred, scratched, and pitted by the elements.
Mitrex offers a range of opaque BIPV products, including Solar Facades, Solar Glass, Solar Railing, Solar Roof, and Solar Siding.
Mitrex transparent BIPV technology allows for invisible energy generation while maximizing light transmittance through the tempered solar glass.
Using thin-film solar technology, Mitrex can supply Solar Glass that seamlessly powers the structure in which it is incorporated. Mitrex offers a range of transparent BIPV products, including Solar Glass, Solar Railing, and Solar Greenhouse.
To achieve both efficient power generation and an aesthetically pleasing design, Mitrex pays special attention to coatings. The Mitrex coating process is a solar coating and application system that adds an anti-reflective and anti-soiling shield to any solar module.
The anti-reflective coating helps the solar module capture more light, increasing total energy output by up to 4.7%! In addition, the unique properties of our anti-soiling coating prevent sunlight-blocking dust or dirt from accumulating on the glass. The anti-soiling coating also makes Mitrex products virtually maintenance-free.
Independent lab tests and extensive field testing have demonstrated that compared to modules without an anti-reflective coating, the Mitrex AR coating delivers up to 3.4 – 3.8% improvement in direct axis power and up to a 4.7% improvement in total energy.
The Mitrex anti-reflective coating forms a thin silica layer over the module, creating a molecular bond with the existing module glass, and resulting in a unique surface structure that increases light collection and repels dirt. This works by providing an incoming photon with a gradual transition from air to glass.
Receive even more power generation with Mitrex anti-soiling coating that effectively prevents dirt, dust, and other particulates from sticking to the glass. Mitrex reduces soiling rates by as much as 90%, lowering your cleaning costs and further improving energy output.
Mitrex products have been extensively safety-tested for durability, are fully recyclable and are backed by our exceptional hardware and energy-generation warranty. Combined with our advanced coating, Mitrex redefines energy generation.
Suitable for new construction or retrofit projects, Mitrex BIPV, integrated solar technology transforms any structure into a local powerplant. Integrating directly into the facade makes adoption simple and easy. However, several aspects affect the amount of energy the photovoltaic system receives and the efficiency of the solar cells. In particular, BIPVs have many factors that affect the system’s performance, including the location, elevation, colour of the modules, and orientation.
Mitrex solar products are designed and engineered to allow sunlight to pass through the surface easily and reach the solar cell, where it will then be absorbed to generate energy. We utilize patented coatings that provide seamless aesthetics and long-lasting solar materials while producing power.
The efficiency of BIPVs relies on the level of light transmitted through the glass to the photovoltaic layer. When colours or patterns are applied to the protective glass layer of a solar panel, light transmittance is affected.
We study the natural interaction of light and colours, paying close attention to the reflective and absorbent properties of colour to optimize efficiency and aesthetics. This balance between beauty and efficiency requires us to perpetually innovate photovoltaic glass.
The Mitrex coating is embedded into the facing layer, avoiding any scratches or damages. The coated facing layer absorbs all the colours except the one visible to the human eye.
A small percentage of the sunlight’s energy is reflected, while the rest of the energy is absorbed by the solar cell and produces electricity. The advanced Mitrex coating allows for a customizable facing to meet any design need while maximizing energy production.
Different geographical locations receive different amounts of sunlight, which affects the energy generation of a solar system. The more sun exposure the integrated solar modules receive, the more energy it produces.
Sun exposure is generally measured in the annual sunlight hours of a specific geographical location, which is affected by that region’s climatic conditions. Mitrex will provide a full analysis for every project to ensure that we account for the impact on the system size.
The position of the solar modules on a building is a fundamental consideration for any BIPV system. Different sides of a building receive different amounts of sunlight based on the sun’s orientation. Depending on the photovoltaics’ placement on the building, the incident angle varies, ultimately affecting solar energy generation.
The ideal orientation varies depending on the geographical location. Generally, places in the northern hemisphere receive more sunlight on the south orientation, and locations in the southern hemisphere receive more sunlight on the north orientation.
For example, south-facing solar modules in Toronto, Canada receive more sunlight than the north-facing side of the building; however, this may not be the case in another city, depending on the sun’s position.
At Mitrex, we account for varying energy production on all the building elevations to provide our clients with an accurate system size analysis.
All light contains photons that carry energy proportional to the wavelength of light. When a wavelength of light hits a surface, some of that light energy is absorbed. If there is enough energy hitting the surface, the electrons in the material can escape; this results in electricity.
Every material is photoelectric— if there is enough energy, you can excite an electron in the material. However, certain materials are easier to work with, the most common being silicon.
Materials that use this phenomenon to create and harness electricity are called photovoltaics.
All solar cells are fundamentally similar. Solar cells consist of an active material with semi-conductive properties that help move electrons out of the material into a circuit where electricity can be used.
Typically, solar cells are made of solar-grade silicon. Additional coatings can be applied to the surface glass to help reduce the amount of light reflected, increase the amount of light absorbed, or help protect the cell from degradation.
Projects can incorporate multiple BIPV applications at once to maximize all available surface area to turn the building’s facade into a self-sustaining micro power plant. However, the orientation of the solar technology affects the overall performance of the solar array.
When BIPV photovoltaics are positioned horizontally on a building, more energy is being produced by the system because there is more solar irradiation. In comparison, when solar modules are vertically integrated onto a structure, they capture less solar energy and generate less electricity. Although the vertical orientation has less solar irradiance, it is still advantageous because this surface area would otherwise produce zero electricity.
The ideal orientation for building-integrated photovoltaics is a tilted angle towards the sunlight, as this maximizes the absorption area on the solar modules.
Another factor that can affect the energy performance of solar modules is climatic conditions. Solar technology has reduced performance during winters compared to summers simply because there is less sunlight.
In the northern hemisphere, the energy production is 40-60% less in December and January compared to the summer months. However, Mitrex sees value in incorporating solar technology everywhere, regardless of differing weather conditions, because you can reduce your emissions and supplement your energy supply.
Regardless of the weather conditions, solar panels still provide free energy and pay for themselves over time. In regions with snowfall, the snow inhibits energy production as it blocks sunlight. However, once it melts off the panels, they remain an energy source.
For the entire solar system to provide energy, an inverter is required. An inverter is an electronic device or circuitry that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).
The input voltage, output voltage and frequency, and overall power handling depend on the specific device or circuitry design. The inverter does not produce any power; the power is provided by the DC source, in this case, the Mitrex PV modules. Inverters are essential for solar systems because they convert the DC electricity produced by the modules into AC electricity for the grid.
Mitrex BIPV modules have a range of 10V to 50V. These systems are compatible with almost all the inverters on the market; microinverters for smaller projects, string inverters, and central inverters can be used with our products.
Mitrex solar modules have a maximum voltage system of 1000V, which is compatible with 600V input voltage inverters, particularly for residential building applications, and 1000V input voltage. Also, Mitrex products are compatible with DC power optimizers.
Mitrex BIPV modules are seamlessly integrated into the building. Each module is easily installed, and the wiring is invisibly incorporated to keep a uniform design of the facade. A BIPV system includes a rapid shutdown device, optional PCS Controllers, an optional battery storage system, an inverter, a transformer, and switchgear. Optional monitoring software can be added that allows for easy system tracking.
Each Mitrex panel has two MC4 connectors at the back; these connectors are attached to each other in strings that lead down a conduit into the electrical room of a building, feeding into the BIPV system inverters. The maximum number of panels per string depends on the voltage permitted in the building and the size of the solar panels.