Original Press Release
SABIC Leads the Curve with First Polycarbonate BIPV Panels Featuring Design Flexibility, Thermal Insulation & Energy Production in One Solution
Press release date: June 13, 2012
MUNICH, Germany - With approximately 70 gigawatts (GW) of cumulative global installations, PV systems represent the third most important renewable energy source - after hydroelectric and wind power - in terms of capacity. 1 As demand for solar power rises, SABIC is helping to drive the feasibility and integration of this increasingly preferred energy source by launching today the first polycarbonate (PC) building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panels for roofing, cladding and glazing applications. This new innovative solution from SABIC's Innovative Plastics business, called Lexan* BIPV panel, provides architects and builders with enhanced design freedom, thermal insulation, easy installation and energy production in a single, integrated solution. Created through a close collaboration between SABIC and Solbian Energie Alternative, an innovative flexible photovoltaic (PV) production company, Lexan BIPV panels combine tough, lightweight, transparent Lexan Thermoclear* PC sheet with flexible PV laminated crystalline cells from Solbian and are available in a broad range of structures, configurations and colors. Lexan BIPV panels demonstrate SABIC's deep commitment to its customers by supporting the evolving trends and environmental needs for more sustainable designs while driving improved material technologies in the building and construction industry.
"The new Lexan BIPV panels show SABIC's commitment to challenging the status quo to find better solutions and create practical innovations for customers in the building and construction industry," said Jack Govers, general manager, Specialty Film & Sheet, Innovative Plastics. "Our collaboration with Solbian has created a technology that can transform conventional roofing and glazing systems and provide new choices for the integration of solar systems into building designs across the globe. We take pride in delivering the performance architects and builders expect when achieving their sustainability goals, and in powering their competitive advantage."
"Our successful collaboration with SABIC has resulted in a very new, high-performance solution that will no doubt drive broader adoption of photovoltaics across many types of commercial and residential structures and geographies," said Enrique Garcia, president, Solbian Energie Alternative. "SABIC's drive to constantly enhance its materials opens up new opportunities for its customers and we are happy that Solbian can contribute to this success." The flexible photovoltaic panels from Solbian are made with monocrystalline cells with efficiency up to 23 percent, which are embedded in polymers with high-resilience technology to make them flexible. They are also highly resistant to harsh weather conditions.
Elegant Curves, Practical Performance
One of the top benefits of Lexan BIPV panels is design freedom. Compared to traditional BIPV materials, the SABIC panels can be easily cold bended on site to form graceful, curved roofing systems integrating daylighting and photovoltaic. By using semi-transparent Lexan BIPV panel modules designers can create unique day-lighting features in façade, roofing or skylight systems.
In addition, the new panels provide high performance, beginning with excellent thermal insulation and light management that are hallmarks of Lexan Thermoclear sheet. The new panels can reduce energy consumption by up to 17 percent vs. traditional high-return, double-pane glass glazing. They help to reduce cooling load and glare associated with large expanses of architectural glazing. This virtually unbreakable, ultraviolet-protected PC material promotes safety and is exceptionally durable for long useful life.
Another important benefit of Lexan BIPV panels is light weight that can make them less expensive to transport and facilitates easy and fast assembly. Compared to heavy glass panels or standard PV panels, Lexan BIPV panels can deliver potential savings on installation time and costs. Also, the panels can be used with a lighter supporting steel framework than glass requires, which may reduce material and shipping costs.
Lexan BIPV panels are available in 10, 16, 20, 25 and 40 mm gauges, in rectangular and X wall configurations and include a color palette of clear, opal white, bronze, green, blue and gray.
High Demand for Green Building Materials
The drive to reduce energy consumption is one of the highest priorities in building and construction today. Based on average material costs, green building materials represented approximately $14.5 billion in cumulative spending through 2010, and are expected to reach nearly $120 billion by 2030.2 BIPV panels are increasingly incorporated into the construction of new buildings as a principal or ancillary source of electrical power, although existing buildings may be retrofitted with BIPV modules as well.
The new Lexan BIPV panels comply with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) EN ISO/IEC 17025, EIC 61215 and IEC 61730-2 standard certifications and contribute to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building certification system. The new panels, which will be commercially available from SABIC in the second half of 2012, have already been installed at a SABIC manufacturing facility in Italy.
For additional information on SABIC's Lexan Thermoclear sheet and new Lexan BIPV panels, please go to www.sabic-ip.com. For technical product inquiries, please contact us at www.sabic-ip.com/prtechinquiry.
About Saudi Basic Industries Corporation
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies, and is a global market leader in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene, advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers. SABIC manufactures with a global footprint in Saudi Arabia, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. The company operates in more than 40 countries across the world with 40,000 employees worldwide. It has significant research resources with 18 dedicated Technology & Innovation facilities in Saudi Arabia, the USA, the Netherlands, Spain, India and China. SABIC recorded a net income of SR 29.21 billion (US$ 7.79 billion) in 2011, and sales revenues totaled SR 190 billion (US$ 50.67 billion).
About Innovative Plastics
The Innovative Plastics strategic business unit of SABIC is a leading, global supplier of engineering thermoplastics with an 80-year history of breakthrough solutions that solve its customers' most pressing challenges. Today, Innovative Plastics is a multi-billion-dollar company with operations in more than 35 countries and approximately 9,000 employees worldwide. The company continues to lead the plastics industry with customer collaboration and continued investments in new polymer technologies, global application development, process technologies, and environmentally responsible solutions that serve diverse markets such as automotive, electronics, building & construction, transportation, and healthcare. The company's extensive product portfolio includes thermoplastic resins, coatings, specialty compounds, film, and sheet. Innovative Plastics (www.sabic-ip.com) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).
* Trademarks of SABIC Innovative Plastics IP B.V.
SABIC is a trademark of SABIC Holding Europe B.V.
1 "Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics Until 2016," a new report from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), assesses the European and global markets for PV in 2011, and makes forecasts for the next five years.
2© 2010 GreenBiz Group Inc. (www.greenbizgroup.com)
® LEED is a trademark owned by the U.S. Green Building Council and is used with permission.
Innovative Plastics Media Contact
Specialty Film & Sheet
Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 164 291605