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Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are photovoltaic materials that are used to replace conventional building materials in parts of the building envelope such as the roof, skylights, or facades.

1. They are increasingly being incorporated into the construction of new buildings as a principal or ancillary source of electrical power, although existing buildings may be retrofitted with similar technology. The advantage of integrated photovoltaics over more common non-integrated systems is that the initial cost can be offset by reducing the amount spent on building materials and labor that would normally be used to construct the part of the building that the BIPV modules replace. These advantages make BIPV one of the fastest growing segments of the photovoltaic industry.The term building-applied photovoltaics (BAPV) is sometimes used to refer to photovoltaics that are a retrofit – integrated into the building after construction is complete. Most building-integrated installations are actually BAPV. Some manufacturers and builders differentiate new construction BIPV from BAPV.


 2.PV applications for buildings began appearing in the 1970s. Aluminum-framed photovoltaic modules were connected to, or mounted on, buildings that were usually in remote areas without access to an electric power grid. In the 1980s photovoltaic module add-ons to roofs began being demonstrated. These PV systems were usually installed on utility-grid-connected buildings in areas with centralized power stations. In the 1990s BIPV construction products specially designed to be integrated into a building envelope became commercially available.

3. A 1998 doctoral thesis by Patrina Eiffert, entitled An Economic Assessment of BIPV, hypothesized that one day there would an economic value for trading Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).

4. A 2011 economic assessment and brief overview of the history of BIPV by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests that there may be significant technical challenges to overcome before the installed cost of BIPV is competitive with photovoltaic panels.


5. However, there is a growing consensus that through their widespread commercialization, BIPV systems will become the backbone of the zero energy building (ZEB) European target for 2020.

6. Despite technical promise, social barriers to widespread use have also been identified, such as the conservative culture of the building industry and integration with high-density urban design. These authors suggest enabling long-term use likely depends on effective public policy decisions as much as the technological development.

7.There are four main types of BIPV products:

Crystalline silicon solar panels for ground-based and rooftop power plant

Amorphous crystalline silicon thin film solar pv modules which could be hollow, light, red blue yellow, as glass curtain wall and transparent skylight

CIGS-based (Copper Indium Gallium Selenide) thin film cells on flexible modules laminated to the building envelope element or the CIGS cells are mounted directly onto the building envelope substrate

Double glass solar panels with square cells inside

Building-Integrated Photovoltaic modules are available in several forms:

Flat roofs

The most widely installed to date is an amorphous thin film solar cell integrated to a flexible polymer module which has been attached to the roofing membrane using an adhesive sheet between the solar module backsheet and the roofing membrane.[clarification needed] Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) technology is now able to deliver cell efficiency of 17% as produced by a US-based company[8] and comparable building-integrated module efficiencies in TPO single ply membranes by the fusion of these cells by a UK-based company.

9.Pitched roofs

Solar roof tiles are (ceramic) roof tiles with integrated solar modules. The ceramic solar roof tile is developed and patented by a Dutch company

10. in 2012.

Modules shaped like multiple roof tiles.

Solar shingles are modules designed to look and act like regular shingles, while incorporating a flexible thin film cell.

It extends normal roof life by protecting insulation and membranes from ultraviolet rays and water degradation. It does this by eliminating condensation because the dew point is kept above the roofing membrane.

11.Metal pitched roofs (both structural and architectural) are now being integrated with PV functionality either by bonding a free-standing flexible module

12.or by heat and vacuum sealing of the CIGS cells directly onto the substrate


Facades can be installed on existing buildings, giving old buildings a whole new look. These modules are mounted on the facade of the building, over the existing structure, which can increase the appeal of the building and its resale value.


Photovoltaic windows are (semi)transparent modules that can be used to replace a number of architectural elements commonly made with glass or similar materials, such as windows and skylights. In addition to producing electric energy, these can create further energy savings due to superior thermal insulation properties and solar radiation control.







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