At 1 kg/m², the solar film (manufactured by Heliatek , an offshoot of TU Dresden (IAPP) and the University of Ulm) is less than 5% as heavy as traditional solar modules. This film is flexible, ultrathin and capable of being installed on any structure. By installing this type of solar system on a turbine tower at the ACCIONA corporation’s Breña Wind Farm in Albacete, Spain, Heliatek has accomplished the first-ever hybridization of wind power and solar technology.
Even when turned off during windless periods, wind turbines continue to function, which ordinarily means that they will consume energy from the grid. But the solar film compensates for this energy demand from the turbine in a sustainable way (as long as the sun is shining). The intention at a later stage of the project is for a battery to supply the turbine with solar power even when the weather doesn’t cooperate. This will mean that the wind farm can be run completely without the use of “gray energy” from the grid. Heliatek has installed 120 solar films. They cover around 173 m² of the 80-meter-tall steel tower and produce a kilowatt peak of 9.36 (kWp).