As global populations become increasingly urban, demand is increasing for sustainable energy in metropolitan areas. Unfortunately, many of the sites that are best suited for generating clean electricity are located far from the city centres that consume the energy.
The roofs of many high rises contain mechanical equipment and limited square footage for solar panels. This means many rooftops alone cannot generate sufficient power to match the building’s power load. Also, it can be difficult to combine a solar energy system with the design vision of the building. Architects want pattern, colour and panel size freedom and not to be limited by the available solar energy equipment options.
In most urban areas, large tracts of land are rare and expensive, making it difficult to site solar or wind farms. Thus, generating solar energy in the most densely populated areas has its challenges unless buildings use vertical surfaces to produce zero-carbon emission energy.
Mitrex building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) offers a solution by turning essential building elements into energy-producing surfaces. The Mitrex team brings together knowledge of solar energy, durable building materials, and aesthetic designs, making vertical green power plants possible. The finished product is aesthetically pleasing, practical, and economical.
Innovative BIPV products
Tall buildings have extensive vertical surfaces and can harness solar energy, transforming projects into mini-power plants. Mitrex BIPV products expand a building’s solar generating potential from the rooftop down to vertical walls and across sunny balconies. These facades can satisfy up to 100% of the on-site electricity consumption, helping the building to obtain net-zero emissions.
Mitrex projects seamlessly integrate solar cells into the building envelope with customizable products. Instead of cladding and railings serving a single purpose, they provide multiple benefits. Mitrex products eliminate redundant materials, are attractive, and provide economic and environmental advantages. BIPV products streamline the installation process and simplify the construction schedule. This lowers construction costs and boosts the ROI of the project while creating a new revenue stream from solar electricity.
Building occupants can then utilize the energy generated on-site instead of using power that was transmitted long distances. These buildings operate like mini green power plants, conserving precious resources.
BIPV products are an asset to new construction and deep retrofits. Ideal applications include office buildings, residential high rises, airports, educational buildings, hospitals, healthcare clinics, municipal buildings, and shopping centres. Even older buildings are good candidates for this sustainable energy upgrade. If occupants need emergency power during grid outages, there are battery storage options. Although turning highrises into green power plants might sound like the way of the future, Mitrex has extensively tested these solar building facades and they are available and on the market today.
Mitrex solar cladding features exceptional durability and aesthetic freedom while offsetting on-site energy use. Unlimited colours and texture options offer exceptional design freedom, and there is no visible difference between surfaces that generate energy and those that don’t. This solar cladding incorporates patented photovoltaic technology, making it a multi-purpose architectural solution. In addition, Mitrex solar cladding is engineered for efficiency with anti-reflective and anti-soiling coatings that help the solar cell absorb as much sunlight as possible.
For balcony railings, Mitrex offers an innovative SolaRail system that generates electricity. Laminated tempered glass sandwiches solar cells for a turnkey solar railing solution. The solar glass transparency and tints are customizable for design flexibility and aesthetics.
Cost-effective electricity solution
Solar and onshore wind are the cheapest sources of new energy capacity, according to the IEA Renewable Energy Report 2020. Mitrex BIPV solutions are surprisingly economical when considering the cost of cladding, railing systems, and energy. In addition, Mitrex offers an innovative business model that allows companies to either own the solar capabilities or purchase the solar electricity at a discounted rate.
Solar cladding and railings create a revenue stream and reduce operating costs for building owners for decades. Government tax incentives can further reduce the cost to building owners for utilizing this sustainable energy product. Also, Mitrex products contain exceptional warranties and feature rapid manufacturing on high-tech production lines for fast delivery.
Although high-density living has its advantages from a sustainability standpoint, it does create challenges for a net-zero carbon future. As concern about protecting the environment increases, innovative products can help shift how cities consume energy.
Mitrex products are inspired by nature. Tall buildings can generate a surprising amount of energy, just like plants and trees. Instead of just draining power from the grid, self-sufficient buildings with solar cladding and railings generate clean energy for a brighter future.