IREC investigates different solutions of integrated photovoltaics in the GESA building in Mallorca

The Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC) has installed different Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) solutions in the high-rise flagship protected GESA building in Palma (Mallorca), which is one of the ARV Climate Positive Circular Communities (CPCC). Both opaque and transparent glass-integrated experimental solutions based on different technologies have been tailored, designed, and manufactured to replace eight of the original glasses in the building.

With the collaboration of the Palma city council, a key partner of the ARV project and the continuous support of ENDESA/ENEL as the owner of the building, IREC got permission to install and perform the BIPV tests from the Heritage and Historical Town commissions of the Consell de Mallorca and City council respectively. The BIPV panels will be tested for at least one year to determine the energy performance, architectural integration, and visual aesthetics acceptance. These actions are not only about producing renewable electricity but also for testing the architectural quality of the different solutions and expected impact on the reduction of solar heat gains while respecting the overall image and functionality of the building ideated by the architect José Ferragut. A cross-cooperation between the Solar Energy Materials and Systems and the Thermal Energy and Building Performance research groups at IREC led to the designing of different solutions with worldwide providers and the building of an innovative monitoring system.

Additionally, a detailed energy and economic analysis for the retrofitting of the building has been completed in a collaborative effort with the consulting firm AIGUASOL, also a partner of the ARV project.

Born in Palma, Dr Jaume Salom, as the principal researcher and leader of the initiative, “wants to express their gratitude to the local actors facilitating the completion of the installation: the architects Pedro Rabassa and Xavier Fontanet and the company Vidres Fullana and especially the commitment of ENDESA. since the proposal was ideated almost four years ago to cede part of the building to perform the tests, and they made it possible to install it today”. “It is about experimenting with different technologies to show which are the possibilities in a real environment. Nothing is fixed at the moment”, Dr. Jaume Salom added.


About the demo district in Palma

The Spanish demo case is the Llevant Innovation District (Districte Innovació Llevant) in Palma de Mallorca. It encompasses a 93 ha mixed-used development, including residential, tertiary, and educational buildings, with both new constructions and renovation activities. The ARV project’s set of actions will involve resource-efficient renovation processes and district energy analysis and operation, highlighting social, educational, and digital aspects to enhance citizens’ involvement.

The activities in the demo in Palma will become a reality thanks to the fruitful collaboration between the stakeholders and citizens acting in the area and the ARV’s local partners which are:

  • The Palma de Mallorca city council
  • IBAVI, the Public Company in charge of Social Housing in the Balearic Islands
  • METROVACESA, the leading firm in residential development in Spain
  • AIGUASOL, an international energy consulting cooperative with more than 20 year’s experience
  • IREC, the Catalonia Institute for Energy Research

Original source here.