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Energies 2016, 9(1), 21; doi:10.3390/en9010021

Building Integrated Photovoltaics: A Concise Description of the Current State of the Art and Possible Research Pathways

SINTEF Building and Infrastructure, Department of Materials and Structures, Trondheim NO-7465, Norway
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Department of Civil and Transport Engineering, Trondheim NO-7491, Norway
Academic Editor: Enrico Sciubba
Received: 6 July 2015 / Revised: 11 November 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 31 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation in Infrastructures)


Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) offer an aesthetical, economical and technical solution to integrate solar cells harvesting solar radiation to produce electricity within the climate envelopes of buildings. Photovoltaic (PV) cells may be mounted above or onto the existing or traditional roofing or wall systems. However, BIPV systems replace the outer building envelope skin, i.e., the climate screen, hence serving simultanously as both a climate screen and a power source generating electricity. Thus, BIPV may provide savings in materials and labor, in addition to reducing the electricity costs. Hence, for the BIPV products, in addition to specific requirements put on the solar cell technology, it is of major importance to have satisfactory or strict requirements of rain tightness and durability, where building physical issues like e.g., heat and moisture transport in the building envelope also have to be considered and accounted for. This work, from both a technological and scientific point of view, summarizes briefly the current state-of-the-art of BIPV, including both BIPV foil, tiles, modules and solar cell glazing products, and addresses possible research pathways for BIPV in the years to come. View Full-Text
Keywords: building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV); solar cell; state-of-the-art; review; research pathway building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV); solar cell; state-of-the-art; review; research pathway

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Jelle, B.P. Building Integrated Photovoltaics: A Concise Description of the Current State of the Art and Possible Research Pathways. Energies 2016, 9, 21.

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