BIPV Building Integrated Photovoltaic
BIPV is an acronym standing for Building Integrated Photovoltaic. It is a modern architectural concept, aligned with the increasingly powerful tendency to use renewable energy sources rather than burning fossil fuels
Home Integrated Solar Concepts
The idea is to use building elements that are on the building shell for producing solar power in addition to their original functionality. The technology is more advantageous to new buildings, where the dual use of materials brings with it more economical solutions and the integrated approach blend itself better (aesthetically) with the overall building design concept. Building Integrated Photovoltaic is tightly related to the zero energy home concept
For existing buildings, the natural element to be replaced are parts of the roof (see roof shingles) and some of the south facing windows
Solar Shingles and Solar Windows
The following is a list of building parts where this technology made roads
- Flat roofs: Usually thin-film cell integrated to a flexible polymer roofing
- Slanted roofs: use photovoltaic roofing (roof shingles, roof tiles)
- Facades: Solar panels mounted on external walls for weather shielding and as decorative elements.
- Glazing: Transparent solar windows that integrate solar power producing embedded elements
Whether you build a new home or you plan to invest in new windows or new roofing, consider installing solar windows and solar shingles. You are entitled to at least 30% energy tax credits on this investment.
Zero Energy Homes and Integrated Photovoltaic
The concept is new and as such it spreads slowly. The first projects, mostly in Europe are showcase civic and enterprise buildings with support from public funds. With time we will see a penetration into new residential buildings and later into the home improvement segment of the market. In some European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain – to name some) the utility will pay more on electricity it buys from buildings with integrated solar elements . The idea is to ramp the technology faster into the market.
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