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Cold facades (curtain wall)

Cold façades are two-skin structures. The outer skin, the cladding, provides protection from the weather and allows architectural design. The supporting structure behind is a structural element and acts as thermal insulation. Between these two skins there is a layer of air that removes moisture. Because of this ventilation, the cold façade – also know as a “ventilated curtain wall” – lends itself well to integrating PV modules. Ventilation that prevents heat-up of PV modules is an advantage, but not essential. A comparison of the electricity yield of PV modules with and without ventilation shows that the yield of non-ventilated PV modules is only around 10% less.
Figure 1: Cold façade: Beam section with PV system in spandrel area

Source: Dr. Pfeiler GmbH

Figure 2: Cold façade: Beam section without PV system in spandrel area

Source: Dr. Pfeiler GmbH

Figure 3: Bauerfeind office building, Germany

Source: procontec 2009

Last page update: 07.02.2011