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What is BIPV?

Full abbreviation of BIPV is Building Integrated Photovoltaic. This is a technology which integrates PV (photovoltaic) modules or solar panels into the roof or exterior of a building. By concurrently serving as building, a BIPV system serves as both envelope material and electrical power generator. It contributes to save materials and electricity costs as well as minimize the dependency on fossil fuels. It reduces carbon emission and enhances the architectural value of a building.

Most of BIPV systems are connected with available grid power. We can also use them as stand-alone, off-grid systems. A grid-tied BIPV system contains mutual utility policy which creates the storage system free indeed. It is highly efficient and contains unlimited capacity. Both the building owner and grid power company are benefited from grid-tied BIPV. It’s characteristics of on-site electricity production helps the building owner to reduce energy costs. On the other hand, produced solar electricity can be exported to grid power company during peak demand.

A complete BIPV system has following components:

  • Typically, PV modules of BIPV system are thin-film, transparent and semi-transparent. 
  • In a stand-alone system of BIPV, a charge controller is used to control the incoming and outgoing power of the battery storage bank.
  • An inverter which converters DC output of PV modules into AC output. 
  • Proper hardware for mounting and structure, wiring and safety disconnects. 
  • A power storage system.
  • Backup power supplies.

BIPV system has following forms:

  • At present, thin film solar cells integrated to a flexible polymer roofing membrane are widely used in BIPV system.
  • Modules having multiple roof tiles shape are also available.
  • Solar shingles are protective against ultraviolet rays and deterioration of water. It removes condensation because the dew point is kept above the roofing membrane.In this way, it protects insulation and membranes and enhances the normal life of roof of a BIPV system.
  • Traditional building materials are rapidly replaced by solar facades.It generates income through  Feed-In Tariffs as well as saves all costs of traditional materials.
  • Installing facades on existing buildings will create a new appearance of old building. These modules are mounted on the facade of the building, over the existing structure, which can increase the appeal of the building and its resale value.
  • Semi transparent modules are great substitute of architectural materials constructed with glass, skylights and windows.


Benefits of BIPV System

  • BIPV system is an environment friendly technology which converts solar radiation into electrical power without polluting environment.
  • Cost of cladding with PV is comparatively lower than conventional cladding materials. So, building owners are economically benefited from BIPV System.
  • Thermal insulation effect of PV modules minimize the heat loss of building.
  • PV modules attenuate electromagnetic waves. As a result, PV modules can help shield areas particularly susceptible to electromagnetic interference, for example in hospitals.
  • Electromagnetic waves are attenuated by PV modules. It helps protective areas which is vulnerable to electromagnetic interference. For example, we can say hospital.
  • Multi layer PV modules of BIPV System are protective against noise.
  • Solar cells of BIPV system are embedded in laminated glass which is very protective against burglary.
  • By producing power by BIPV system, building owners can sell electricity to grid power company and earn money. So, BIPV is a source of additional income.
  • As it is an environment friendly technology and reduce carbon footprint, building owners can be benefited by government incentives.