Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) are photovoltaic materials that are used to replace conventional building materials. They are increasingly being incorporated into the construction of new buildings as main or auxiliary source of electrical power. However, most of already existing integrated installations are actually building-applied Photovoltaics (BAPV), as integrated into the building after construction is complete. Mainly used as are roof integrated, solar modules can effectively be used in facade integrated systems. These installations are mostly vertical, reducing access to direct sunlight, but reduced power is compensated with the large surface area of the building. By simultaneously serving as building envelope material and power generator, BIPV systems can provide savings in materials and electricity costs and raise energy efficiency while latest technological solutions can also add architectural interest to the building.
Beside technological and economic advantages, the one thing that makes BIPV so interesting and more desirable is its interference in construction design and their joint development. Design considerations for BIPV systems must include the building’s use and electrical loads, its location and orientation, the appropriate building and safety codes and the relevant utility issues and costs. The BIPV systems can be designed to blend with traditional building materials and design or they may be used to create a modern, futuristic appearance. Both approaches are followed by numerous supporters and public initiatives.
BIPV market makes up an important part of current world photovoltaic market. It is expected that global market for BIPV will reach the capacity of nearly 11.4 MW by the year 2015 with the annual growth rate of 56%. This market segment is one the strategic areas for G-solar brand development. Premium solar modules with tested quality and proven characteristics that ensure long service life are even more important as integrated building material for long-term solutions. G-solar provides both roof integrated and facade modules. Its latest technological improvements result with longer durability, efficiency growth and cost reduction.
A complete BIPV system includes the PV modules, charge controller, a power storage system or a number of batteries in stand-alone system, inverter, alternative backup power supplies, mounting hardware and supporting equipment for mounting, wiring and connecting elements. Beside the high-quality products, it is crucial that all involved activities in design, installation and maintenance are done by experienced professionals.