Next Article in Journal
Sustainability and the 21st Century Vertical City: A Review of Design Approaches of Tall Buildings
Previous Article in Journal
In-Plane Strength and Stiffness of Cross-Laminated Timber Shear Walls
Previous Article in Special Issue
Review of Renewable Energy Technologies in Zambian Households: Capacities and Barriers Affecting Successful Deployment
Article Menu
Issue 8 (August) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Buildings 2018, 8(8), 101;

Spatio-Temporal Visualisation of Reflections from Building Integrated Photovoltaics

School of Engineering and Architecture, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Technikumstrasse 21, CH-6048 Horw, Switzerland
CR Energie GmbH, Z.I. l’Epine 7, CH-1868 Collombey, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 31 July 2018 / Published: 3 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Renewable Energy Sources in Buildings)
Full-Text   |   PDF [8218 KB, uploaded 3 August 2018]   |  


With the increasing adoption of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), concerns arise about potential glare. While recommended criteria to assess glare exist, it is challenging to apply these in the spatial and temporal domains and communicate the complex data to planning authorities and clients. This paper presents a new computational workflow using annual daylight simulation, material modelling using bi-directional scattering distribution functions (BSDFs) and image-based postprocessing to obtain 3-dimensional renderings of cumulative annual irradiance and glare duration on the built environment. The annual daylight simulation considers relevant sun positions in high temporal resolution (15-min timesteps) and measured BSDFs to model different PV materials. The postprocessing includes a relative irradiance visualisation comparing the impact of a proposed PV proportional to a reference material. It also includes a new spatio-temporal workflow to assess the glare duration based on recommended thresholds. This workflow is demonstrated with a case study of a proposed PV roof for a church, assessing the glare potential of two different PV materials. The visualisations indicate glare durations well below the thresholds with satinated PVs, and in noncritical zones outside observer positions with standard PVs. Thus the proposed PV roof does not cause any disturbing glare. View Full-Text
Keywords: building integrated photovoltaics; annual daylight simulation; reflection; Radiance; photon mapping; BSDF; HDR; image processing; feature detection building integrated photovoltaics; annual daylight simulation; reflection; Radiance; photon mapping; BSDF; HDR; image processing; feature detection

Graphical abstract

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).

Supplementary materials


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Schregle, R.; Renken, C.; Wittkopf, S. Spatio-Temporal Visualisation of Reflections from Building Integrated Photovoltaics. Buildings 2018, 8, 101.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Buildings EISSN 2075-5309 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top