Energy demand in the world is nowadays growing further out of limits of installable generation capacity. Therefore, future energy demands should be met and improved efficiently and securely by utilizing renewable energy sources. Recently, greater research attention has focused on the application of solar power generation technology in building construction to reduce building energy consumption and encourage increased sustainable development. An emerging solar power generation technology is in the use of Building-integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), where photovoltaic materials are used to replace conventional building materials.
WHAT IS BIPV?
BIPV are solar power generating building products or systems that are seamlessly integrated into the building envelope, replacing conventional building materials.
BIPV system is an integral component of the building skin that converts solar energy into electricity and simultaneously provides building envelope functions such as:
- weather protection (water proofing, sun protection)
- thermal insulation
- noise protection
- daylight illumination
BIPV systems can be installed during the construction phase of a building or deployed in the course of a retrofit of an existing building when one of the envelope components needs to be replaced. The built environment allows for many ways to integrate BIPV. In general, there are three main application areas for BIPV:
- roofs (e.g., shingles, tiles, skylights)
- facades (e.g., cladding, curtain walls, windows)
- externally integrated systems (e.g., balcony railings, Shading systems)
The BIPV system serves as a building envelope material and power generator simultaneously.
BIPV = Displaces building material + generates solar power
ADVANTAGES OF BIPV:
- Highly cost effective as they reduce the energy bills and generate income as well.
- Very less maintenance as there is no mechanically moving parts.
- They are ecofriendly and support our growing sustainability demands.
- BIPV can therefore contribute to achieving net-zero energy buildings, turning roofs and facades into energy generating assets,
DISADVANTAGES OF BIPV:
- High making cost and its dependency on weather conditions.
- Their low efficiency (between 14%-25%) compared to the efficiency levels of other renewable energy
- Usually, involves more labor costs than usual PV installation.
- Difficult to retrofit to old houses and buildings.
BIPVT – A Subset of BIPV:
A subset of BIPV is BIPV with thermal energy recovery – so-called BIPVT. Such systems produce heat and electricity simultaneously from the same building surface area.
BIPV IN INDIA:
In 2019, U-Solar Clean Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd. installed India’s largest building integrated vertical solar PV system at a data center in Mumbai. The system, with a capacity of about 1 MW, has been installed by integrating solar panels on all four walls of the facility, covering over 5000 square feet of facade area.
Thus BIPV is irrevocably set to play an essential role in the years to come and will have the opportunity to improve in all the aspects of its soul.