Sophokles - Solar shading lamellas with photovoltaic coating for climate-neutral, energy-efficient structures

Development of lightweight, strip-like photovoltaic modules that combine shading and emission-free power generation in one monolithic component. The size and module voltage of the photovoltaic blinds can be individually adapted to the conditions of the building. The core of the innovation is an interconnection concept for thin-film solar cells, with which the film-like photovoltaic material can be interconnected in series and in parallel as required.

Short Description



Starting point

In order to mitigate climate change and to reach carbon neutrality, large areas are necessary for the installation of photovoltaics. By integrating photovoltaics into building envelopes enormous areas can be exploited for generation of solar electricity.

The project SOPHOKLES aims to exploit the full potential of areas available on shading systems and provides a cost-efficient, reliable, and efficient solution for the production of photovoltaic blinds.

The aim of the project is the development of foil-based photovoltaic blinds "from the same mould" allowing the economic use of photovoltaics in shading systems. The core development will be a tool-less interconnection concept allowing a flexible serial or parallel interconnection of the photovoltaic material, adapted to the given conditions.

Contents and goals

With this approach constant voltage levels can be reached independently of the actual length of the photovoltaic blind. Due to combined parallel/serial interconnection shading losses will be reduced and high energy yields can be obtained even under suboptimal irradiation conditions.

Because the photovoltaic material is deposited on a steel strip, a weatherproof barrier is already in place on the backside. This in turn simplifies the weather-proof packaging and only the deposition of novel transparent barrier coatings on the sun-facing side is needed. The result is a monolithic, multifunctional component: The photovoltaic thin-film module on a steel substrate itself becomes the lightweight shading device.

The integrated structure of the photovoltaic blind drastically reduces the number of parts and materials. Expensive gluing and lamination processes can be eliminated, and hence, weight and thickness of the photovoltaic shading device can be reduced, and low costs can be achieved.

Within the framework of SOPHOKLES, not only the production costs will be substantially lowered, but also the planning process will be simplified and digitalized. Therefore, a software tool will be developed, that automatically determines the optimized interconnection and assembly configuration for the photovoltaic blind, depending on the changing irradiation conditions on the building envelope. The early integration in the planning process, ensures that the additional investment costs for the PV system (€/m2) can be amortized in 6 to 8 years.

The novel material composite between metallic foil, thin-film PV, printed interconnection and components, and additively deposited front encapsulation will be demonstrated and validated in an outdoor test stand.

Project Partners

Project management

Sunplugged Solare Energieysteme GmbH

Project or cooperation partners

  • HELLA Sonnen- und Wetterschutztechnik GmbH
  • Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH

Contact Address

Sunplugged-Solare- Energiesysteme GmbH
Andreas Zimmermann
Mindelheimer Straße 6
A-6130 Schwaz
Tel.: +43 (699) 100 905 46