BIPV Systems


Interest in the integration of photo-voltaic systems into constructions, where the PV elements actually become an integral part of the building, often serving as the exterior weather skin, is growing worldwide. PV specialists and innovative designers in Europe, Japan, and U.S.A are now exploring creative ways of incorporating solar electricity into their work. A whole new vernacular of Solar Electric Architecture is beginning to emerge.

A Building Integrated Photo-Voltaic (BIPV) system consists of integrating photo-voltaic modules into the building envelope, such as the roof or the facade of the structure being constructed. By simultaneously serving as building envelope material and power generator, BIPV systems can provide savings in materials and electricity costs, reduce use of fossil fuels and hence diminish emission of ozone depleting gases, and add greater architectural interest to the building.

While the majority of BIPV systems are interfaced with the available utility grid, BIPV may also be used in stand-alone, off-grid systems. One of the benefits of grid-tied BIPV systems is that, with a cooperative utility policy, the storage system is essentially free. It is also 100% efficient and unlimited in capacity. Both - the building owner and the utility are assured to reap benefit with grid-tied BIPV. The on-site production of solar electricity is typically greatest at or near the time of a building's and the utility's peak loads. The solar contribution reduces energy costs for the building owner while the exported solar electricity helps support the utility grid during the time of its greatest demand.
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