Overview and analysis of current BIPV products: new criteria for supporting the technological transfer in the building sector

Pierluigi Bonomo, Anatoli Chatzipanagi, Francesco Frontini

Abstract

The growing demand for nearly-Zero Energy Buildings is rapidly contributing to change the building skin from being a passive barrier towards a sensitive and active interface. Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is a unique solution for delivering clean, safe, affordable and decentralized electricity to people transforming the building surfaces in active solar collectors. Despite photovoltaic (PV) technology and their basic usage are today known to everybody, the particular requirements for building integration have brought to the surface some issues over the years so that BIPV is still a niche market. Starting from this observation, the paper presents the results of an investigation on the current market of BIPV products for roofs and façade. The analysis aimed to identify the relevant possibilities the products today offer and the level of information that the producers make available within the technical description of BIPV systems. After disclosing the actual lack of information in comparison to conventional building products, the authors propose to implement a new “building-based” approach that could support the BIPV market by including a more comprehensive description of the product’s quality (today mainly comprising electrical and basic physical features). Such a “building-technology” perspective, also considering the recent normative framework in BIPV field, is expected to encourage the technological transfer of PV in the building sector by facilitating the daily work of architects, installers and the whole value chain.


Keywords

BIPV; BIPV market; BIPV products; Technological transfer; nZEB

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