In collaboration with the leading manufacturer of steel cable and mesh constructions, Carl Stahl Architektur GmbH, and material supplier Merck KGaA, ARMOR solar power films GmbH (formerly OPVIUS) has developed for the African Union a unique energy-generating shade sail in the shape of the African continent – which also serves as the logo of the African Union.
The active solar shade sail forms the focal point of the new Peace and Security Building of the African Union in Addis Ababa – a project managed by the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) and implemented with the aid of local construction companies. The combination of flexible organic solar modules from ARMOR solar power films and a stainless steel cable construction from Carl Stahl has allowed the realisation of a solar project of this magnitude for the very first time. The complex system, measuring approx. 25 x 20 metres overall, consists of 445 individual transparent blue modules, using Merck’s lisicon® OPV active material, and held in place by a sophisticated cable mesh construction directly underneath the membrane dome above the Peace and Security Building’s interior.The translucency of the modules makes for approx. 75% light transmission for the overall roof surface. Furthermore, thanks to the OPV modules, the shade sail supplies sufficient electricity to power the LED lighting system inside the building.