Phoster project

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Main results

  • The design of Phoster, an innovative solar roofing envelope using CIGS PV cells, has been completed
  • Using currently available technology Phoster can achieve reduction of up to 30 % of the Global Warming Potential with respect to a framed PV module installed on a metallic roof
  • The smart design of Phoster enables a reduction of shading on the PV surface, leading to an increase of 1,5 % of the kWh/kWp produced with respect to currently available Building Integrated PV modules on steel roofs
  • The PV cells in Phoster do not contain cadmium, a toxic element commonly used in thin-film PV cells.
  • More than 85% of Phoster can be easily recovered at the end of life and recycled.
  • Environmental monitoring is continuously performed throughout the manufacturing set-up and implemented in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to ensure optimization of environmental performance

Impacts on EU policy and the everyday life of the European citizens

Phoster has the potential to provide a strong contribution to the European Unions 2020 and 2030 sustainable energy objectives:

  • The LIFE-PHOSTER project consists in the development of a highly efficient building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) roofing element and its related optimized manufacturing process. The achievement of its environmental targets is promoted through ecodesign, by employing Life Cycle Assessment from as early as the product development phase. LIFE-PHOSTER strongly promotes solar energy and contributes to the climate change European policy aiming at increasing the use of renewable energy as well as energy efficiency in buildings. Lastly, it does not use Cadmium, which is a rare and hazardous material currently commonly used to produce solar cells, ensuring reduced environmental footprint and  increasing the end of life recyclability potential of the product, thus contributing the development of a European Circular Economy.
  • In 2016, the potential European market for LIFE-PHOSTER is around 94,000 103*m² (32,000 103*m² for the new building segment and around 62,000 103*m² for the renovation segment). [table 2 of the proposal. Source?]. Considering a pessimistic Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5% for non-residential BIPV market from 2016 onward, the LIFE-PHOSTER BIPV product - with a realistic market share starting from 0,5% to 10% in 4 years - would avoid a cumulative GHG emission of more than 50 000 TeqCO2 in 2020 (compared to the current building applied PV technology, accounting for 272kgCO2eq/m² (SENSE project)). [table 3 of the proposal. Source?]. Furthermore, thanks to the innovative production process, LIFE-PHOSTER will avoid 15.8 kg CO2 eq. per solar cell square meter produced: with the same market deployment hypothesis, this would lead to an additional cumulative GHG emission reduction of more than 17 500 TeqCO2 in 2020 [table 4 of the proposal. Source?].
  • Once the project completed, our prototype demonstration is expected to stimulate the local PV market first. The economic impact will be a side effect of the PHOSTER project: should the demonstrator be successful environmentally and technically speaking, the implementation of a 100 MW production line is foreseen after the project end to initiate the mass production of ready to plug PV steel Roofing envelope. This will allow the immediate creation of 40 jobs of different qualification level. In addition, the replication of this new technology at the global scale will generate an industrial activity and employment for ArcelorMittal, its suppliers and its clients. Thanks to our effort to reduce production cost, PV technology will also be made more affordable for the population and massive PV production is consequently expected. This aspect represents a strong side effect on the global economy, but also on the well-being of the population (less pollution due to a drastic reduction of GHG emissions). In addition, the fact that the new PV module will be easily integrated into buildings will also bring added value to the construction sector and, as such, will positively impact this strategic sector for many European economies.