Many specialists predict that the only way to reduce pollution and climate changes is to increase diversification of energy sources. Many of them say that the best way to do it is to develop small household PV systems. It’s very important issue because even 40% of energy consumption is generated by buildings.
Unfortunately, modern architecture trends and needs of customers sometimes make impossible to create proper project of rooftop PV system. Obstacles like chimneys, antennas or dormers are the worst nightmares of PV systems designers. Because of those problems and unaesthetic for some customers look of typical PV systems, industry developed BIPV (building integrated photovoltaics).
Those technologies are mainly focused on complete integration with buildings. In the opposition to the typical PV systems they give you opportunity to install them not only on the roof but also on the elevation. Thanks to those solutions we can mount our PV panels on any surface of the building in more esthetic way.
One of the best example of BIPV technology are solar shingles.
It’s innovative product with the same shape and dimensions like typical shingels but based on PV modules. That gives you opportunity to camouflage our PV panels on the roof. This is especially useful while you try to install PV panels on historic buildings where we cannot integrate into building elevation. Most of the solar shingels are produced by large manufacturers of building materials like CertainTeed.
Unfortunately due to low popularity and only a few producers, this technology is still even four times more expensive than traditional panels and is reasonable only in specific cases.
PV panels built into buildings
Another interesting example of BIPV technology is integration of typical PV panels with roof surface. More and more PV companies offer PV systems not on the roof of a building but instead part of it. This type of montage gives you possibility of saving money on building materials.
However this solution has also many disadvantages. The most important one is roof tightness. In some cases connection between PV modules and rest of the roof is too weak and can cause a leak.
Also an efficiency of PV panels in this technology is a bit lower which is caused by weaker cooling of your PV panels.
To learn more about impact of temperature on PV modules read one of our previous article!!!
One of the most interesting alternative usage of PV panel are solar garages and summer houses.
Using PV panels in such a construction instead of the roof gives you opportunity to save money and keep proper temperature conditions.
More and more investors consider placing BIPV on the elevation of a building. PV systems installed directly on the walls can work not only as energy generator but also as a decoration.
Because of their specific installation angle they are almost snow, dust and dirt resistant. This PV settings makes also your panels more resistant to strong winds.
In those solutions, most engineers suggest using thin-layer panels which can use indirect and diffuse solar radiation more efficiently than typical silicon-based panels. What is more, in those solutions more and more popular become bifacial PV panels that can use both direct sunlight and artificial light from the inside of the building.
Another great idea developed by many companies are solar windows. They are fully transparent solar panels that can be installed instead of typical windows. Unfortunately, because of very low efficiency of such panels most technologies of that kind are still in R&D.
However, low integration into structure of the building will make them in the future one of the most popular BIPV solution.
As you can see BIPV solutions have both – many advantages but also disadvantages. In opinion of many specialists, domination of BIPV in on the building solutions is only a matter of time.
If you want to create project of BIPV system check our EasySolar App. It will not only calculate your annual production but also create detailed financial analysis.