Project RESTORE: ASCA® solar demonstrators on the ICAM campus

03/02/2021 ASCA® Structures

The latest generation of organic photovoltaic solutions: ARMOR solar power films (ARMOR group) has joined forces with ICAM at its site in Nantes to launch a large-scale deployment project analyzing the ASCA® flexible organic photovoltaic films in the construction sector. They are also receiving financial support from BNP Paribas, West France region. The first stage of this long-term partnership is the installation during the last week of January on the Nantes campus of a first demonstrator for testing purposes.

ICAM, the engineering school, and ARMOR solar power films (ARMOR group), are behind an ambitious large-scale deployment program to analyze the performance of the ASCA® flexible organic photovoltaic film in the construction sector (BAPV – Building Applied PhotoVoltaics).

Supported by BNP Paribas, West France region, in the context of its regional sponsorship and CSR policy, this project has been named RESTORE and is being financed to the tune of nearly €600k. Holder of the SMILE label and also accredited by the S2e2 competitiveness cluster, the project was launched at the ICAM campus in Carquefou in January 2021 and will run for over 10 years, incorporating an initial and closely monitored 2-year R&D phase followed by a second operational phase over several years.

This project is a strategic step towards the industrialization of BAPV products, which offer multiple solutions to the challenges of the construction sector, and also contributes to the training of the engineers and technicians of tomorrow. It will enable students to work on the demonstrators to take measurements and also to carry out practicum, such as the development of electrical circuits.

In order to bring the first stage of the program to fruition, a testing bench was installed on the Nantes campus during the last week of January.

Solar BAPV installation

Moving from R&D to mass production

Produced using a low-carbon process free of silicon and rare and toxic metals, the ASCA® organic photovoltaic film contributes to the energy autonomy of buildings. Its semi-transparency also enhances thermal comfort in the event of a heatwave when incorporated into glazed areas. Lightweight (450g/m2) and flexible, it offers more installation and integration possibilities than a first- or second-generation solar panel. “The objective of the partnership between ARMOR solar power films and ICAM is to conduct large-scale validation of the added value of the ASCA® OPV films in real operational conditions. It is an excellent opportunity to construct the technologies and applications of tomorrow with future participants in the industry, namely students”, states Moïra Asses, Marketing & Business Development Director of ARMOR solar power films.

Creating a regional industry

Alongside ICAM and ARMOR solar power films, the project is also bringing together other industrial operators: Dome Solar, Armorgreen and EVEA. With demonstrators at the ICAM building, the objective is also to develop a regional BAPV industry incorporating a network of qualified subcontractors (materials, installation, electricity connections, training, etc.).

An industrial and educational project

At its site in Nantes, ICAM has for many years been investing in the issues of energy transition and performance. The establishment has been offering a Specialist Master’s in Eco-Innovation & New Energy Technologies for 10 years now, and therefore has ample experts capable of conducting the project. More broadly, the equipment is fully in keeping with the educational objectives of the establishment, for both the engineering and electrician training offered by its production faculty. ICAM will also be mobilizing its workshops and other resources to manufacture and assemble various sub-units required for implementation (electric cabinets, profile machining, etc.).

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