“Solar architecture is not about fashion, it’s about survival”
Sir Norman Foster
Buildings are responsible for 40% of global energy consumption and the solutions proposed by this company are heading towards a significant reduction of the energy bill. The solutions developed by Onyx Solar replace conventional building materials for smart photovoltaic materials in ventilated façades and roofs, curtain walls, skylights, walkable floors, etc. The idea is to create building envelopes with photovoltaic properties making it possible to generate clean and free energy from the sun and being also an aesthetic and viable solution.
About Onyx Solar
The solutions developed by Onyx Solar combine active and passive elements. Among the first ones, the in-situ electricity generation is the most important because it can be used for self-consumption or sold to the grid at a previously established price generating significant revenues. Passive elements are related to the design of the building to improve energy efficiency, increasing the insulation and reducing the energy needs of the construction.
The cheapest energy is the energy that is not consumed, therefore is why Onyx offers multifunctional photovoltaic constructive solutions which can be integrated perfectly into any type of building, provide greater both acoustic and thermal insulation and at the same time produce clean, free energy in situ, all thanks to the power of the sun.
Those solutions make the photovoltaic constructive material developed by Onyx the only one allowing the customer to recover the money invested on its acquisition and installation after a certain period of time, providing an outstanding pay-back time. Moreover, integrating photovoltaic into the building you guarantee yourself that the energy price will remain unchanged for the next 30 years, something vital considering the current trend of increasing prices.
Onyx Solar is a business committed to the development of intelligent, multifunctional constructive solutions for the sustainable integration of solar energy photovoltaic in buildings.
Photovoltaic ventilated Facade
Contemporary architecture is showing an increasing interest in the different materials available for use in ventilated façades and roofs.
Inspired by this rise in interest, Onyx Solar has designed a photovoltaic ventilated façade and roof system, a product with undeniable aesthetic value and unbeatable in terms of heat insulation that generates free electricity from the sun.
The generated electricity can be translated directly to the main supply system, thus being marketed to the large suppliers, or be used for personal consumption (isolated system).
The thermal surrounding methods can result in a 25-40% reduction of the energy consumed by a building.
Depending upon the orientation of the façade, building location, and the photovoltaic technology implemented, the electricity produced by Onyx’s system in just one square metre can vary between 20-40 kW/h per annum; sufficient energy to supply up to 10,000 hours of light from 20W energy saving light bulbs.
In addition to the obvious environmental benefits, in countries where the sale of electricity is regulated and incentive based, through an obligatory subsidy from the electrical companies, one metre squared of ventilated roof can generate a net benefit in its lifetime (25 years) of more than 1000 Euros.
From a financial point of view, depending upon the type of building and its location,ventilated façades and roofs can achieve an Internal Return Rate (IRR) greater than 25% and an outstanding payback time.
Ten Key Advantages of the Ventilated Photovoltaic Facade
10. Attractive and innovative design
The Skylight system ensure an optimized PV electrical generation adding multifunctional passive bioclimatic properties of thermal inner comfort since most of the UV and infrared radiation from the sun will be harvested by the silicon-based material (solar filter effect). Moreover, the air chamber of the insulating glass guarantees best thermal performance in terms of U and g values.
Photovoltaic Curtain Wall
Nowadays architecture and photovoltaic solar energy can be combined to create a new form of construction.
Curtain walls offer architects a multitude of possibilities for the integration of photovoltaic solar energy into buildings in an efficient and ecological manner.
Photovoltaic curtain wall provides a multifunctional solution where not only clean and free energy is being generated in-situ, but also natural illumination is being provided implementing solar control by filtering effect, avoiding infrared and UV irradiation to the interior (enhancing thermal comfort and avoiding interior aging).
The large variety in form, structure and colour of transparent photovoltaic glass, combined with the aluminum frames, provides a free reign of creativity for architects so they can create designs which unite elegance, efficiency and energy saving.
A photovoltaic canopy constitutes a constructive solution which combines energy generation, solar and adverse climatologic conditions protection.
The energy generated by the system can either feed any building within its surroundings or get connected to the grid, leading in any case to an important economic profit.
The top of the photovoltaic canopy is customized for each project according to the preferred aesthetic value appearance and to its integration within the urban characteristics.
Orientation, slope options, sizes or wind loads are some key variables that should be measured accurately in order to get a correct design for the main structure.
Walkable Photovoltaic Roof
The Walkable Photovoltaic Roof, which is still in research and development stage by Onyx Solar and Butech engineers, is made using a solar PV glass laminated over elevated ceramic roof tiles, resulting in a completely walkable surface.
This PV pavement is a really appealing product for architects as it can be integrated in any project and environment without renouncing design and aestheticism. What’s more, it combines passive elements (avoided CO2 emissions) with active elements (power generation), greatly reducing the building’s environmental impact.
Currently, a backlit walkable photovoltaic roof is under development.
Building Retrofit Using BIPV
Onyx Solar develops multifunctional solutions that combine aesthetic and photovoltaic technology applied in historical buildings, being a cutting edge technology for buildings retrofits.
Photovoltaic technology improves energy conditions of the buildings, making more efficient all those who were not designed under modern patterns of sustainability and energy efficiency.
This contribution respects building’s original aesthetic concept by using “low visual impact solutions” on all these buildings that represent the artistic and cultural heritage of a city.
Retrofit projects of historical buildings that incorporate photovoltaic skylights, benefit from multifunctional solutions that not only generate electricity on site, but also control visible light entrance, reaching thermal inner comfort and harvesting UV and IR radiation.
Onyx Solar has been chosen partner of the European Commission in recognition for the design of the transparent photovoltaic skylight installed in the new San Antón market in Madrid. Onyx Solar has a multidisciplinary team made up of physicists, engineers and architects who design from their Castile and Leon headquarters, photovoltaic materials that are integrated into buildings throughout the world and help to reduce CO2 emissions. In addition to this, it has also been acknowledged as the company with most growth potential in Europe, an award given at the European Entrepreneurship Awards.
The company has offices in New York and Shanghai and has recently received the XXI Entrepreneur Award from La Caixa in the “Emprendes” category.