Alpha Enerworks ramps up production of ‘invisible solar panels’ on robust demand

[Photo provided by Alpha Enerworks]

[Photo provided by Alpha Enerworks]

Alpha Enerworks, the largest contractor of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) in Korea, has started mass production of BIPV modules after a facility ramp-up designed to meet explosive demand.

A new production line was completed last month with a 10-fold increased capacity, according to the company, which now commands 80 percent of the local BIPV market.

Building-integrated photovoltaic panels are often called ‘invisible solar panels’ as they are incorporated into the construction of new buildings like exterior finishing materials in parts of the building envelope such as facades. These panels are increasingly replacing conventional building materials as a principal or ancillary source of electrical power.

BIPV is composed of three sheets of glass, unlike a normal panel with photovoltaic cells between two sheets of glass. The two inner glass sheets function for power generation, and the outer glass sheet adds an aesthetic value to the building with colors that go with the building paint.

This advantage makes BIPV one of the fastest growing segments of the photovoltaic industry amid the government’s support for zero energy buildings.

The Korean government has mandated that over 20 percent of power consumption be covered by renewable sources for new or renovated public buildings with a total floor area of more than 1,200 square yards since last year. The regulation will also apply to private buildings by around 2025.

The local BIPV market is estimated to grow from 100 billion won this year to some 500 billion won in 2023, said Ahn Hyun-jin, CEO of Alpha Enerworks, adding his company’s sales target will increase from 2 billion won this year to over 30 billion won in 2023.

By Lee Jong-hwa and Minu Kim

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]