BIPV systems (Building-integrated photovoltaics) are solar power plants that are integrated into buildings and structures. Such systems, in addition to their direct purpose – the generation of electricity, also perform the functions of structural elements of the building, complementing or completely replacing traditional building materials (facade and roof structures). In the coming years, BIPV solutions will be most actively developed in comparison with other types of solar power plants.
Avenston is engaged in the design and construction of solar power plants that are built directly into the structure of a building or structure. Integrated into buildings BIPV systems are usually installed on flat and pitched roofs, embedded in facades or glazing elements. Also, this technology is used in the construction of solar canopies and other auxiliary structures and elements of urban infrastructure.
Modern BIPV systems provide added value to a building’s needs, not only from the free energy generated viewpoint but also from the multifunctional properties inherent to the smart design. In this sense, by using PV active glazing as a constructive material in buildings, thermal and acoustic insulation will be provided, as well as light control allowing IV/IR filtering and selecting the natural diffuse visible component for quality indoor lighting.
BIPV photovoltaic glazing structurally does not defer from another type of glazing, and therefore, it is integrated into the building envelope (curtain wall, facade or skylight) as any construction material. In this sense, different orientations and tilts of facade surfaces can be supplied with fully integrated PV materials fitting the building’s needs.
Installation of BIPV modules instead traditional roof materials allows to minimize CAPEX during construction or modernization of buildings. Rooftop installations allow to increase specific power generation per sq.m in comparison to facade one. But available area of roofs are usually significantly lower that area of facade in case of cities installation. Rooftop BIPV solutions are more suitable for commercial buildings when a roof is big (stores, factories, logistic centers, etc). In a city for high buildings it would be better to combine several BIPV technologies.
Our team participated in the design and construction of the first rooftop BIPV solar power plant in Ukraine. BIPV solar panels were used instead of roofing materials in the reconstruction of farm buildings for livestock. This decision made it possible to significantly reduce costs due to savings on traditional roofing materials and receive free solar electricity.
From an electrical standpoint, a photovoltaic installation consists of two different parts, DC part and AC electrical part. Photovoltaic’s principle is based in the capability of certain materials of generating electrons by harvesting the light/sunlight. Thus, a BIPV unit facing the sun or any light naturally generates an electric current which parameters vary it depending on the incident irradiance. The voltage is almost constant as well as current depends on lighting. Generated electrical current can be connected to a external circuit, interconnected to the current generated by other BIPV units, and guide through cabling and protections to the solar inverter transforming the direct current into alternating current.
Mainly there are three ways of connecting a photovoltaic system to other utilities:
Modern solar energy technologies have a number of indisputable advantages that make it possible to increasingly implement engineering solutions based on them in new projects. Solar power plants, which are deeply integrated into the design of buildings and structures, have the following advantages:
Our company is a general contractor in the construction of facade solar power plants and photovoltaic systems integrated into buildings (BIPV). Installation of BIPV systems is relatively new direction, therefore it will demand builders’ training to level up their skills. Avenston company is ready to provide professional education, consultations and services both on planning stage of a residential house or an office building, as well as directly during building and installation works. Our specialists will provide correct from architectural point of view installation of BIPV systems and their specialized connection both to electrical system of a house and to general electric system.
Despite the higher initial cost of facade-mounted PV system and BIPV systems, the introduction of such solutions can reduce the total cost of civil works and materials at building construction. Thus, when implementing BIPV systems, it is necessary to pay attention not only to the unit cost of installed kW of solar modules, but also to economic feasibility of the whole project. The cost of both the equipment and the work itself, and the cost of the generated electricity, as well as the amount of money saved during construction, for example, on roofing materials or facade cladding, must be taken into account. That is why projects for the implementation of facade PV and BIPV systems require not only high technical qualifications of the contractor, but also deep economic knowledge.
Avenston offers its customers full support for projects for the construction of solar power plants integrated into buildings. We will help you calculate the economic feasibility of such a project, select the most optimal technical solution, develop design documentation and install your solar PV power station. General contracting services include the full comprehensive support of your project for the installation of facade photovoltaic systems or BIPV systems.