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Designs 2017, 1(2), 9; doi:10.3390/designs1020009

Design of Post-Consumer Modification of Standard Solar Modules to Form Large-Area Building-Integrated Photovoltaic Roof Slates

1
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931-1295, USA
2
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931-1295, USA
3
Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, School of Electrical Engineering, Aalto University, 02150 Espoo, Finland
4
Keweenaw Research Center, Calumet, MI 49913, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
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Abstract

Building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems have improved aesthetics but generally cost far more than conventional PV systems because of small manufacturing scale. Thus, in the short and medium term, there is a need for a BIPV mounting system that utilizes conventional modules. Such a design is provided here with a novel modification of conventional photovoltaic (PV) modules to allow them to act as BIPV roofing slates. The open-source designs for the mechanical components necessary to provide the post-consumer conversion for a conventional PV module are provided, and prototypes are fabricated and installed on a mock roof system along with control modules mounted conventionally. The approximately U.S.$22/module BIPV roof-mounted system is direct mounted on the roof to eliminate the need for roofing shingles or other coverings, which effectively provides a 20% total cost reduction from conventional racking systems that demand a roof to mount upon without considering the savings from the rack itself. The results of the outdoor system testing found no water leaks. An increased operating temperature was observed, which would reduce the output from a silicon-based PV module by less than 10%. The results found significant potential for this design to further reduce total PV systems costs. View Full-Text
Keywords: balance of systems; balance of systems (BOS); building integrated photovoltaic; BIPV; photovoltaic; photovoltaic module; racking; solar energy; solar slate; solar shingles balance of systems; balance of systems (BOS); building integrated photovoltaic; BIPV; photovoltaic; photovoltaic module; racking; solar energy; solar slate; solar shingles
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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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Pearce, J.M.; Meldrum, J.; Osborne, N. Design of Post-Consumer Modification of Standard Solar Modules to Form Large-Area Building-Integrated Photovoltaic Roof Slates. Designs 2017, 1, 9.

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