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Special Issue "Building Integrated PV System"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "B1: Solar Energy and Photovoltaic Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Nazmi Sellami
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland AB10 7GJ, UK
Interests: building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs); design of hybrid renewable energy systems; development of a new generation of PV/thermal solar concentrator; optimisation of PV panel tilts and orientations; using solar energy for medical treatment; solar air-conditioning; solar district heating
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Firdaus Muhammad-Sukki
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen AB10 7GJ, Scotland, UK
Interests: optical concentrator; solar photovoltaics; building-integrated photovoltaics; renewable energy technology; renewable energy policies; nanotechnology law and policies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Walid Issa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering and Mathematics, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK
Interests: microgrid modelling and stability assessment; power flow control in microgrids; renewable energy integration; smart building design and integrated solutions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Buildings make up 40% of the total primary energy usage in the US and the EU, making them the main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs) represents a potential solution to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings. BIPVs consist of integrating PV modules into a building to play the same role as its components: wall, window, or roof. BIPVs has the advantages of saving building material and reducing the electricity costs in addition to reduction in the use of fossil fuels and the emission of ozone-depleting gases. The electricity generated by BIPV modules can be used locally in the building, and the excess can be exported to the utility companies via grid interconnection. Compared to non-integrated systems, BIPV modules have the potential to be cheaper because they do not require allocated land or involve any additional infrastructure costs. In addition to the cost advantage, BIPVs can reduce the negative impact solar farms can have on agriculture, via land-use change, as well as on biodiversity.

The planning, design, and implementation of BIPV systems tend to be a more complex process than is the case for conventional PV systems as there are many important factors to consider. With BIPVs, there needs to be a balance between the power produced, the cost of the system, and the aesthetics―the focus should neither be only on electricity nor aesthetics. There needs to be improved building quality and energy performance in addition to addressing the aesthetics without forgetting safety and building regulations. As such, research studies about BIPVs involves different areas: building process, building physics, energetic design, aesthetical concept, economical concept, and building regulations.

This Special Issue aims to bring together the latest advances, experiences, findings, policies, and developments related to BIPVs.

Dr. Nazmi Sellami
Dr. Firdaus Muhammad-Sukki
Dr. Walid Issa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • building-integrated PVs (BIPVs)
  • semi-transparent photovoltaics
  • building energy efficiency
  • PV façade
  • solar cell
  • PV windows
  • translucent photovoltaics

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Contribution of Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) to the Concept of Nearly Zero-Energy Cities in Europe: Potential and Challenges Ahead
Energies 2021, 14(19), 6015; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14196015 - 22 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 805
Abstract
The main purpose of this paper is to investigate the contributions of building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems to the notion of nearly zero-energy cities in the capitals of the European Union member states (EU), Norway, and Switzerland. Moreover, an in-depth investigation of the barriers [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this paper is to investigate the contributions of building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems to the notion of nearly zero-energy cities in the capitals of the European Union member states (EU), Norway, and Switzerland. Moreover, an in-depth investigation of the barriers and challenges ahead of the widespread rollout of BIPV technology is undertaken. This study investigates the scalability of the nearly zero-energy concept using BIPV technology in moving from individual buildings to entire cities. This study provide a metric for architects and urban planners that can be used to assess how much of the energy consumed by buildings in Europe could be supplied by BIPV systems when installed as building envelope materials on the outer skins of buildings. The results illustrate that by 2030, when buildings in the EU become more energy-efficient and the efficiency of BIPV systems will have improved considerably, BIPV envelope materials will be a reasonable option for building skins and will help in achieving nearly zero-energy cities. This study reveals that in the EU, taking a building skin to building net surface area ratio of 0.78 and a building skin glazing ratio of 30%, buildings could cover their electricity consumption using BIPV systems by 2030. Eighteen challenges and barriers to the extensive rollout of BIPV systems are recognised, classified, and discussed in this study in detail. The challenges are categorised into five stages, namely the decision, design, implementation, operation and maintenance, and end of life challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Integrated PV System)
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Article
Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) in Europe, Rational Feed-In Tariffs and Subsidies
Energies 2021, 14(9), 2531; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092531 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1444
Abstract
Building integrated photovoltaics is one of the key technologies when it comes to electricity generation in buildings, districts or urban areas. However, the potential of building façades for the BIPV system, especially in urban areas, is often neglected. Façade-mounted building integrated photovoltaics could [...] Read more.
Building integrated photovoltaics is one of the key technologies when it comes to electricity generation in buildings, districts or urban areas. However, the potential of building façades for the BIPV system, especially in urban areas, is often neglected. Façade-mounted building integrated photovoltaics could contribute to supply the energy demand of buildings in dense urban areas with economic feasibility where the availability of suitable rooftop areas is low. This paper deals with the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of building integrated photovoltaic systems (BIPV) in the capitals of all the European member state countries plus Norway and Switzerland and presents a metric to investigate a proper subsidy or incentive for BIPV systems. The results showed that the average LCOE of the BIPV system as a building envelope material for the entire outer skin of buildings in Europe is equal to 0.09 Euro per kWh if its role as the power generator is considered in the economic calculations. This value will be 0.15 Euro per kWh if the cost corresponding to its double function in the building is taken into the economic analysis (while the average electricity price is 0.18 Euro per kWh). The results indicate that the BIPV generation cost in most case studies has already reached grid parity. Furthermore, the analysis reveals that on average in Europe, the BIPV system does not need a feed-in tariff if the selling price to the grid is equal to the purchasing price from the grid. Various incentive plans based on the buying/selling price of electricity from/to the main grid together with LCOE of the BIPV systems is also investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Integrated PV System)
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Article
The Effect of Climate on the Solar Radiation Components on Building Skins and Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) Materials
Energies 2021, 14(7), 1847; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14071847 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 984
Abstract
The business model of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) is developing expeditiously and BIPV will soon be recognised as a building envelope material for the entire building skins, among other alternatives such as brick, wood, stone, metals, etc. This paper investigates the effect of climate [...] Read more.
The business model of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) is developing expeditiously and BIPV will soon be recognised as a building envelope material for the entire building skins, among other alternatives such as brick, wood, stone, metals, etc. This paper investigates the effect of climate on the solar radiation components on building skins and BIPV materials in the northern hemisphere. The selected cities are Stavanger in Norway, Bern in Switzerland, Rome in Italy, and Dubai in the UAE. The study showed that for all the studied climates, the average incident radiation on the entire building skins is slightly more than the average incident radiation on the east or west facades, regardless of the orientations of the building facades. Furthermore, the correlation between solar radiation components and different BIPV technologies is discussed in this paper. It is also found that when it comes to the efficiency of different BIPV cells, the impact of the climate on some of the BIPV technologies (such as DSC and OSC) is much more significant than others (such as c-Si, mc-Si and CIGS). The evidence from this study suggests that in climates with higher diffuse radiation-or with more overcast days per year-the contribution of IR radiation decreases. Therefore, the efficiency of BIPV materials that their spectral responses are dependent on the IR radiation (like Si and CIGS) in such a climate would drop down meaningfully. On the other hand, the DSC and OSC solar cells could be a good option for cloudy climates since they have more stable performance, even in such a climate. Although, their efficiency compared to other BIPV materials such as Si-based BIPV solar cells is still significantly less thus far. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Integrated PV System)
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Article
Visual Comfort Analysis of Semi-Transparent Perovskite Based Building Integrated Photovoltaic Window for Hot Desert Climate (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Energies 2021, 14(4), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14041043 - 17 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 966
Abstract
Buildings consume considerable amount of energy to maintain comfortable interior. By allowing daylight, visual comfort inside a building is possible which can enhance the occupant’s health, mood and cognitive performance. However, traditional highly transparent windows should be replaced with semitransparent type window to [...] Read more.
Buildings consume considerable amount of energy to maintain comfortable interior. By allowing daylight, visual comfort inside a building is possible which can enhance the occupant’s health, mood and cognitive performance. However, traditional highly transparent windows should be replaced with semitransparent type window to attain a comfortable daylight inside a building. Evaluation of visual comfort includes both daylight glare and colour comfort analysis. Building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) type windows are promising systems and can possess a range of semitransparent levels depending on the type of PV used. In this work, the semitransparent Perovskite BIPV windows was investigated by employing daylight glare analysis for an office building located in Riyadh, KSA and three wavelength dependent transmission spectra for colour comfort analysis. The results showed that the transmissions range between 50–70% was optimum for the comfortable daylight for south facing vertical pane BPV-windows. However, excellent colour comfort was attained for the transmission range of 90% which provided glare issues. Colour comfort for 20% transparent Perovskite was compared with contemporary other type of PV which clearly indicated that wavelength dependent transmittance is stronger over single value transmittance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Integrated PV System)
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Review

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Review
State-of-the-Art Review on the Energy Performance of Semi-Transparent Building Integrated Photovoltaic across a Range of Different Climatic and Environmental Conditions
Energies 2021, 14(12), 3412; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14123412 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1033
Abstract
Semi-transparent Building Integrated Photovoltaics provide a fresh approach to the renewable energy sector, combining the potential of energy generation with aesthetically pleasing, multi-functional building components. Employing a range of technologies, they can be integrated into the envelope of the building in different ways, [...] Read more.
Semi-transparent Building Integrated Photovoltaics provide a fresh approach to the renewable energy sector, combining the potential of energy generation with aesthetically pleasing, multi-functional building components. Employing a range of technologies, they can be integrated into the envelope of the building in different ways, for instance, as a key element of the roofing or façade in urban areas. Energy performance, measured by their ability to produce electrical power, at the same time as delivering thermal and optical efficiencies, is not only impacted by the system properties, but also by a variety of climatic and environmental factors. The analytical framework laid out in this paper can be employed to critically analyse the most efficient solution for a specific location; however, it is not always possible to mitigate energy losses, using commercially available materials. For this reason, a brief overview of new concept devices is provided, outlining the way in which they mitigate energy losses and providing innovative solutions for a sustainable energy future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Integrated PV System)
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Review
Performance Improvement for Building Integrated Photovoltaics in Practice: A Review
Energies 2021, 14(1), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14010178 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1156
Abstract
Building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technologies are promising and practical for sustainable energy harvesting in buildings. BIPV products are commercially available, but their electrical power outputs in practice are negatively affected by several factors in outdoor environments. Performance improvement of BIPV applications requires mitigation [...] Read more.
Building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technologies are promising and practical for sustainable energy harvesting in buildings. BIPV products are commercially available, but their electrical power outputs in practice are negatively affected by several factors in outdoor environments. Performance improvement of BIPV applications requires mitigation approaches based on an understanding of these factors. A review was, therefore, conducted on this issue in order to providing guidance for practical applications in terms of the selection of proper PV technologies, temperature management, solar irradiation enhancement and avoidance of excessive mechanical strain. First, major types of PV cells used in BIPV applications were comparatively studied in terms of their electrical performances in laboratorial and outdoor environments. Second, temperature elevations were widely reported in outdoor BIPV applications, which may cause efficiency degradation, and the mitigation approaches may include air-flow ventilation, water circulation and utilization of phase change materials. The heat collected from the PV cells may also be further utilized. Third, mechanical strains may be transferred to the integrated PV cells in BIPV applications, and their effects on electrical performance PV cells were also discussed. In addition, the power output of BIPV systems increases with the solar irradiation received by the PV cells, which may be improved in terms of the location, azimuth and tilt of the cells and the transmittance of surface glazing. Suggestions for practical applications and further research opportunities were, therefore, provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Integrated PV System)
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