Design-led solar elements

SmartFlex is a large-scale collaborative project within the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme. The project focusses on the manufacture of individually designed photovoltaic building elements on an industrial scale.

Novel approach

The promising area of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) is still considered to be reserved for exclusive construction. However, BIPV potential is much greater and design-led solar solutions could be developed in an easier way.

Planning software 

The objective is for architects to use the intuitive planning software to design solar modules in shapes and colours that fit perfectly into the building envelope. The software will then send the data of the individually designed modules directly to the industrial production line. This eases the process for architects and engineers in a groundbreaking way.

Testing and monitoring

SmartFlex is achieving this objective by testing different technical options, checking the module performance and energy yield produced by solar facades and developing a prototype production line.

Several photovoltaic building elements are tested and monitored on a test building.

EU funding

The European Union is contributing to the SmartFlex project with a funding of more than 2.9 million euros.

The project started at 1st November 2013 and runs 36 months.