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Characteristics of BIPV system development

Trends in BIPV

There is a growing interest in building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), in which photovoltaic elements actually become an integral part of the building, often used as an exterior weather skin. Photovoltaic specialists and innovative designers in Europe, Japan and the United States are exploring creative ways to incorporate solar energy into their work. Completely new solutions for solar electric buildings are beginning to emerge.

According to SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association), the installation of photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the field of private domestic solar power plants has grown the fastest in the last few years. In the years 2014-2016, the average total capacity of solar power plants increased by about 50-60% per year. The vast majority of houses using solar power generate electricity through fixed rooftop solar power plants. Thus, as the market grows, two basic trends are clearly noted:

Technical factors: increasing the efficiency of private solar power plants, increasing their power capacity, as well as due to the installation of high-capacity storage systems and optimized power accumulation/consumption processes, as well as the creation of systems capable of functioning in a fully autonomous mode for the home.

Aesthetic factor: the homeowner wants the photovoltaic modules to be completely and naturally integrated into the architectural solution of his house, in line with the predominant style of the interior decoration of the house.

Manufacturers try to fulfill all the requirements to offer their consumers a package solution; increasingly popular are solar power stations integrated (built-in) into buildings, or BIPV solutions (from Building Integrated Photovoltaics).

Characteristics of BIPV system development

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) consists of integrating PV modules into the building envelope, such as the roof or façade. By being used as both a building envelope material and a generator, BIPV systems can save on material and electricity costs, reduce fossil fuel use and ozone depleting gas emissions, and add architectural interest to a building.

BIPVs are photovoltaic modules that are not only used to generate electricity, but are also a valuable part of a house as a wall material or roof covering; they can be used as cladding, peaks, and other building structural elements. It is therefore necessary to distinguish between the two concepts:

BAPV (Building Attached Photovoltaics) are photovoltaic modules that can be considered as an additional structure to the house. They are assembled when the installation of the building has been completed and they perform the basic and only duty of generating electricity through the conversion of solar radiation. They can be dismantled at any time and integrity and building reliability are not compromised here.The simplest and most common example of BAPV is a rooftop solar power plant assembled on the main roof covering.

BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaic): solar modules are integrated into the building, they perform the same functions as the elements with built-in placed panels; BIPV elements protect the house from moisture, wind, improve thermal and acoustic insulation and at the same time work as solar panels, i.e. generate electricity. Their installation is planned to take place during the architectural design phase and they can be removed only if they are replaced with equivalent building materials.


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