Building integrated photovoltaics- an overview

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From the older concept of photovoltaic installation, which includes the addition of solar panels to a building’s roof, the construction technology has merged with the photovoltaics technology. The result is Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), in which integrating the architectural, structural and aesthetic component of photovoltaics into buildings. Building integration of photovoltaics (BIPVs) has been recognized worldwide as a pivotal technology enabling the exploitation of innovative renewable energy sources in buildings, acting as electric power generators within the new framework of smart cities. The standard semitransparent photovoltaic (PV) modules can largely replace architectural glass installed in the building envelopes such as roofs, skylights, and facade of a building. Their main features are power generation and transparency, as well as possessing a heat insulating effect. PV glass shows the same mechanical properties as a conventional, architectural glass used in construction. Additionally, it provides free and clean energy. Given these properties, PV Glass maximizes the performance of the building’s envelope. The cost of the PV system and its implementation is still significantly high in comparison to solar thermal systems.

Keywords: Building Integrated Photovoltaics, renewable energy, power generation, heat insulating effect

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Jibi Kurian
Lathi Karthi


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