The Flemish Minister of Work, Economy and Innovation, Philippe Muyters, visited EnergyVille II in the Thor Park in Genk last week. It is the second building to house EnergyVille’s research and will be entirely dedicated to technology development for energy generation with thin-film solar cells, intelligent PV modules and new batteries for local energy storage. Some hundred researchers, mainly from imec and Hasselt University, will move into the building next year.
After the first researchers moved into the EnergyVille I building in June last year, construction of the second research centre started in September. “This second building is a great addition to the laboratory that is currently available to us. The realisation of this building means we will have the necessary infrastructure available to conduct top research and provide knowledge in Belgium and abroad,” says Ronnie Belmans, CEO of EnergyVille.
The building has a floor area of almost 7000 m2 and will accommodate state-of-the-art research labs, imec’s pre-pilot line for thin-film solar cell production and office space for approximately hundred researchers. In the context of the energy transition and the climate objectives, it is essential to make the production of solar energy even more efficient and cheaper. Research will therefore be conducted in Energyville II to make PV systems more efficient. By optimising the materials and the architecture of solar cells and solar panels, thinner and cheaper solar cells are being developed that generate more energy than the current generation solar cells. The researchers will also focus on new storage systems, for example for electric cars or home batteries.
This second building will be just as sustainable as the first one. It will be equipped with an extensive solar panel installation on the roof, water recuperation and the necessary domotics and modern building management technology, and it will be connected to its surroundings through an advanced heating system. Under the leadership of Deerns, a flexible and adaptable design has been developed for EnergyVille II within strict financial frameworks. Deerns also arranged the environmental permits in compliance with the requirements for the PV process and the local regulations and conditions.10-05-2017