The STAL project started at the end of 2018. The goal of this project is to reduce the use of natural gas in the agricultural sector by cleverly integrating solar technology into a lightweight plastic roof. STAL stands for Solar Tailored Agro Laminates.
A consortium of companies and the knowledge institute Solliance Solar Research collaborates in the development of plastic roof elements, that generate electrical energy can store solar heat. With a budget of 3 million Euros, the consortium will integrate thin film solar cells, develop the required production technology and scale up this production technology. The intended end result is a pilot of 40 square meters on a stable roof at an agricultural company in Hoevelaken (NL). The three-year project is financed by RVO in the Renewable Energy scheme.
The consortium, led by Solliance Solar Research, develops a plastic roof laminate with integrated electrical and thermal conversion of solar energy. STAL not only focuses on the development of this new application, but will explicitly focus on the development and scaling up of production technology to be able to produce in large volumes.
“Now it is known that asbestos roofs have to be replaced before 2024, there is a huge opportunity to equip all the roof surface with solar modules”, says Huib van den Heuvel of Solarge BV, one of the participants in the project and already working on the development of lightweight plastic solar panels. “There is 80 million square meters of roof that needs to be replaced, even supplying half of it with PV would be fantastic.”
By integrating thin-film solar and thermal conversion into a building element, the production costs are also reduced. And by installing the roof and PV (T) system not separately, but as one integrated system, the building process is more efficient.
Development from customer specification
What makes this project unique is the broad consortium, with companies from the entire supply chain, and the involvement of the end user. The project finds its origin in the farmer’s own question. This gives the unique opportunity to develop, produce and test a PVT-integrated roofing element from all disciplines, with the customer requirements centralized, in a short period of time. Participants in the consortium are: Solarge BV, Kameleon Solar, Vanderleegte Werkt BV, Taylor, Expice, Stichting Gelijkstroom, Den Besten Techniek and Solartech BV. The pilot will be tested on a farm owned by Herry den Besten. The project leader is TNO, as one of the leading organizations in Solliance Solar Research.
Photo caption: Huib van den Heuvel (Solarge BV) with a prototype PV roof element. Photo: Niels van Loon