Solar Energy Harvesting Systems

Commercial Systems

Coloured BIPV Panels (SUNERG X – Color)

By Martin Dietz CEO, Solar Lightning Consultants ApS, Denmark

Product Description

Brief Concept Description

The SUNERG X - Color Monocrystalline module, produced by the Italian company Sunerg, is a custom-made BIPV panel suited for both roof and facades applications that is available in a range of colours. Such solution targets a niche market where blue polycrystalline or black monocrystalline modules cannot satisfy aesthetics requirements due to colour and offers instead a range of options (mahogany brown, reddish brown, bottle green and black-grey) that can better match the architectural vision and the design of the building. The PV modules are produced in a standard size (275 Wp) with an aluminium frame and back sheet in the chosen colour.

Figure 20. SUNERG X – Color monocrystalline modules in roof application, colour of the module: chestnut brown (RAL 8015) (Source: Solar Lightning Consultants ApS - Architect Martin Dietz (C)).

Architectural and Technological Integration into the Envelope

SUNERG X – Color is available in a range of colours to match the design of the envelope where they are integrated. It is possible to have frames, clamps, cable box etc. coloured as the BIPV panels to achieve better aesthetics and a seamless integration. To add more flexibility, special dummies with mono cells and the same coloured glass, frame and back sheet can be attached to the envelope and adjusted to the size and dimension of the roof / BIPV design. Such dummies are not connected to the grid but have the same appearance of the other BIPV modules. Durability and maintenance cost are similar to that of a normal passive glass facade.

For roof applications, two kinds of envelope design approach, can be chosen: (A) full BIPV integration or (B) integration of the BIPV modules, where PV modules are installed in an “floating architectonic structure” on top of the roof (waterproof asphalt roofing underneath).

Concerning the technological integration into the envelope, the modules can be installed in a horizontal or vertical configuration according to the architectonic design of the roof or façade. In the project “AB Landsdommergaarden” in Copenhagen (Figure 21), the installation process of the BIPV system into the roof (envelope design approach B) can be detailed as follow: In a first step, the existing cover and wooden rails were removed and a waterproof of 2layers asphalt roofing was laid on top of the ceiling. Then, a metal hook was fixed to support the aluminium rails and the rail structure was mounted. Wiring, cable trays and cable boxes were installed. Afterwards, the PV modules were fixed to the aluminium rails with clamps. A number of solar inverters and sensors (including a sun irradiation meter) were put in place to complete the DC installation. Finally, the AC cables were laid vertically along a back staircase and connected to a secondary electricity power meter to measure PV production and connected to a main electricity cabinet in the basement.

Figure 21. The 52,25 kWp BIPV installation on the roof of “AB Landsdommergaarden” in Copenhagen (Denmark) covers 22 % of the residential electricity consumption. Electricity output: 47.340 kWh during the first year. Estimated CO2 emissions saved 29.154 kg per year. (Source: Solar Lighting Consultants ApS).

Figure 22. Schematic drawings of the BIPV installation on the roof of “AB Landsdommergaarden” in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Source: Solar Lighting Consultants ApS).

Figure 23. Views of the BIPV installation on the roof of “AB Landsdommergaarden” in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Source: Solar Lightning Consultants ApS - Architect Martin Dietz (C)).

SWOT Analysis


  • It has a very eye appealing appearance and can be adapted to the context (e.g. roof tiles), thanks to the range of colour options and the use of “dummies” modules
  • It enables to harvest solar radiation to produce green electricity with high efficiencies
  • The installation of BIPV can be a good investment with interesting payback-times
  • Good warranties about product and minimum performance overtime are offered to customers
  • Maintenance and durability are similar to that of a passive glass façade 


  • The investment cost of the module is higher compared to blue polycrystalline and black monocrystalline PV products
  • They are not as efficient as pure monocrystalline panels, due to the extra colour coating layer on the glass, but can match the efficiency of polycrystalline modules 


  • The market is large, as the modules can be applied to both new and renovated buildings’ roofs and facades 


  • The market does not yet fully understand the advantages of a full integration of solar technologies in buildings
  • High tax policies and lack of subsidizing in some countries prevent solar energy to accelerate and expand
  • Unclear legislation and unstable incentives over the years hinder the constitution of a strong PV industry in some countries 

Lessons Learned

  • From an aesthetic point of view, the SUNERG X – Color panels with the chosen RAL 8015 colour code – 275 Wp per module, which is most efficient, cannot perfectly match the surrounding red tile roofs in the project of “AB Landsdommergaarden”,  a lighter red colour would reduce the efficiency to 240-250 Wp.
  • Coloured solar panels are still `in the luxury end` - small custom-made modules, and public incentives and financial support for the refurbishment of buildings are therefore needed to keep the payback time low enough.
  • The scaffolding use is temporary, but still represents a high expense part (min.10 percent of the total investment).


The information and views set out in this chapter of the report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of SUNERG Solar Srl.