VINCI Construction and SUNPARTNER Technologies Launch Horizon Energy: A Solar Glass Curtain Wall that Produces Electricity

• A curtain wall with integrated photovoltaic glazing
• One step closer to the building of the future: connected and energy-positive

Today, European construction giant and international contractor VINCI Construction and French solar innovation expert Sunpartner Technologies launched Horizon Energy, a solar curtain wall. This is the second product from their partnership developing revolutionary photovoltaics for the building industry, following on their connected, dimmable smart glass window named Horizon. The new Horizon Energy is a semi-transparent solar curtain wall that transforms facades in new construction and renovations, using Sunpartner’s WYSIPS Design Glass.

Tomorrow’s Buildings: Connected, Energy-Generating Hubs

Vinci Construction and Sunpartner Technologies share the same vision of the building of the future: a hub of energy and connectivity. Now, facades, with their vast available surface area, can produce electricity right where it’s needed. This local, renewable energy production is also driven by new regulations that promote net zero or positive energy buildings. The Horizon Energy curtain wall offers the ideal answer for architects, contractors, and building professionals seeking a high-performance system that is also decorative, helping reach ambitious energy targets without sacrificing the aesthetics of the façade.

“The teams at SUNPARTNER Technologies and VINCI Construction share the same enthusiasm about creating innovative photovoltaic solutions. Just six months after launch of the Horizon window, we’re pleased to introduce the second product from this dynamic partnership. We’re sure that the Horizon Energy curtain wall will be just as well received by industry professionals.”
—Ludovic Deblois, President and Co-Founder of SUNPARTNER

“With Horizon Energy, we’ve crossed the next threshold in integrating and mastering BIPV (building-integrated photovoltaics). Our mission is to design and build buildings that offer maximum comfort for users. This new solar curtain wall enriches our range of innovative and sustainable solutions that meet environmental needs.”
—Jérôme Stubler, President of VINCI Construction

Benefits of Horizon Energy:

Vinci and Sunpartner’s curtain wall has three functions:
Structural: The semi-transparent photovoltaic glass is seamlessly integrated into the building structure. The laminated WYSIPS® Design Glass is mounted in double glazing.
Sun protection: Reduces overheating, combats glare for occupants, and improves comfort while ensuring significant energy savings by optimizing air conditioning use.
Generates electricity: via solar energy, helping comply with new energy regulations. Each element of the PV curtain wall has a connector so that the energy produced can either be consumed locally via an inverter or sent into the grid as needed.

A Variety of Design Options
Horizon Energy uses Sunpartner’s semi-transparent, solar WYSIPS® Design Glass, which comes in a range of patterns (bands, straight lines, openwork, and lace) unique on the glazing market. Multiple designs plus a range of transparencies from 10 to 40% mean architects can give free rein to their creative inspiration. Another advantage of WYSIPS® Design Glass is excellent visual integration, which conventional (cSi) dual-glass photovoltaics cannot achieve.

This window features the openwork version of WYSIPS® Design Glass with 20% transparency.

Even Large Glass Surfaces are Now Semi-Transparent
This curtain wall, designed with large semi-transparent PV modules up to 1.28 meters wide by 3.12 meters high, optimizes the architectural framework of office buildings, whether new or retrofits.

The ensemble lets in diffuse natural daylight while ensuring effective sun protection, optimizing the indoor/outdoor visual comfort of occupants.

+ Energy Performance
Sunpartner’s semi-transparent WYSIPS® Design Glass uses PV modules with thin-film CIGS cells with yields up to 150W/m2. Thanks to concerted R&D, the yields of CIGS technologies are increasing rapidly every year, meaning even greater performance is expected in the short to medium term. They are also particularly effective in limited or diffuse light. The final energy yield of the curtain wall depends on the degree of transparency chosen by the client.

Easy to Manufacture and Install
Sunpartner’s WYSIPS® Design Glass modules can be assembled in double or triple glazing. Depending on the configuration and the size, thermal performance, acoustics, or safety requirements, the PV module can be made with any type of glass.

Installation of the curtain wall (aluminum frame + semi-transparent photovoltaic double glazing) is similar to a standard curtain wall. Sunparnter Technologies and Vinci Construction provide technical support throughout the project from design to installation. The electrical connection is facilitated by pre-wiring the framing. The various elements of the Horizon Energy curtain wall are then connected to each other through a small, standardized connector with an indexing pin.

About VINCI Construction
VINCI Construction is one of Europe’s leading construction company and a major global player. Its 800 companies employ more than 68,000 people in some 100 countries, and sales of €13.7 billion in 2016. With its integrated business model, the company all stages of a project’s lifecycle (funding, design, construction, maintenance) in eight industries—construction, functional structures, transportation infrastructure, hydraulic infrastructure, energy, the environment, oil and gas, and mining.

About Sunpartner Technologies
Sunpartner Technologies develops innovative, invisible photovoltaic solutions for the electronics consumer market (e.g., wearables, mobile phones, connected items), construction (e.g., smart cities), and transportation (e.g., automotive, aviation, sailing). Its Wysips® (short for What You See Is Photovoltaic Surface) technology harvests solar energy and transforms it into electricity, making everyday items fully or partially energy independent. The company uses its expertise to create aesthetic and smart surfaces for clients around the world. Founded in 2008 and based in Rousset, France, it now boasts 75 collaborators, an impressive portfolio of patents and has raised €45 million since its creation.

Media contact Vinci Construction
Manuel SAEZ-PRIETO • +33 (0)1 47 16 42 40 •

Media contact Sunpartner Technologies
Marion CHANSON • +33 (0)6 15 71 16 76 •