ACCIONA Construction, through its R&D technology centre, is taking part in the European ETFE-MFM project, to develop an innovative façade lighting system that combines ETFE, photovoltaic technology and LED devices to offer a more sustainable and environmentally friendly solution.
Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) is a lightweight thermoplastic polymer that is transparent, recyclable and extremely resistant to heat, corrosion and UV rays. When used in construction, it is environmentally friendly and has a lower environmental impact over the life of the building compared to traditional solutions. Furthermore, ETFE panels are highly durable with a lifespan of over 30 years and resistant to dirt, requiring little more than rainwater to keep them clean.
The ETFE-MFM project focuses on developing, evaluating and demonstrating flexible multifunctional modules made from this new material in order to combine its use with architectural facade lighting systems that are powered by flexible and semi-transparent photovoltaic elements. The modules developed by the project combine ETFE layers with LED layers and photovoltaic cells. They have also been designed to include external batteries for energy storage as well as mains network connectivity.
The modules can therefore generate energy during the day, which is stored in the batteries and used for night time lighting. The objective is to increase the use of photovoltaic energy in building construction, as well as to provide new architectural lighting possibilities in elements of the building envelope.
To demonstrate and validate these modules under real conditions, a pilot project has been carried out on the facade of the ITMA Foundation building in Avilés (Asturias), coordinated by ACCIONA Construction.
As part of the project, ACCIONA Construction also defined the technical specifications for the modules and carried out studies on the potential market for this solution as well as the expected regulatory implications for these modules at a European level.
The project is currently entering its final phase, compiling the operating data from the modules installed in Avilés and evaluating the photovoltaic energy production, the storage functionality and the LED consumption.