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Spandrels and parapets

Spandrels are part of the exterior wall of a building (between the floor and the bottom edge of the window). Parapets are waist-high barriers at the edge of balconies, bridges, etc. Semitransparent PV modules integrated into spandrels/parapets can obscure the view of the inside, while allowing a free view of the outside. Structurally, they have the properties of laminated glass and can be used to create attractive accents on the façade.

Sample project in Passail

The terrace parapet of this single-family home to passive-house standards that was finished in 2007 consists of a total of twenty photovoltaic laminated glass modules. The PV system has a nominal rating of 4.7 kWp.

The modules were mounted using stainless-steel point holders recessed into the back of the glass. The holders are invisible from the front. The junction boxes and wiring are located in the terrace floor and are also invisible. White enamel layers were applied to the outside glass panes of the modules. Hence, the terrace deck corresponds visually to the roof area and creates a continuous white strip.

Figure 1: Balcony parapet with PV modules

Source: ertex solar 2009

Last page update: 25.01.2011