As one of several projects backed by the European Union’s (EU’s) Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), goals for SUMMIT project are to demonstrate three step-change innovations in solar PV technology:

  1. Innovative designs for large, lightweight PV modules with back-contact cells for flat roofs,as well as dimensionally adaptable modules (available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes) for use as cladding or on pitched roofs for building-integrated PV (BIPV) and building-applied PV (BAPV) applications;
  2. Utilization of durable, 2-mm thin-glass PV laminate with greater break resistance as well as improved transmission efficiency; and
  3. Smart-module power management for higher energy generationthat is less prone to power drop off even under non-ideal local conditions (e.g. shading).

During the next three years, SUMMIT consortium members will demonstrate industrial manufacturability of these novel PV-module concepts, as well as overall module efficiency and durability, ease of installation and utilization, and applicability to various types of PV applications — features representing breakthrough long-life PV modules with record power output, the lowest installation and system costs, and the lowest carbon footprint on the market today.

According to Paul Stassen, consortium leader and TULiPPS B.V. founder and CEO, “The really exciting thing about this project is that we have brought together the best partners representing the most innovative PV module technologies currently available. This consortium represents the entire module supply chain, from upstream equipment suppliers, to downstream engineering/procurement/construction (EPC) firms, and even testing/certification organizations. Working together, we will integrate all these leading-edge technologies into a single multifunctional module platform that provides a remarkable combination of value-added features that have never been packaged together before. We are going to demonstrate just how valuable and powerful that combination is in a number of public demonstration projects over the next few years.”