PV in buildings
Rationale for support
It will be essential to decarbonize the energy used to run and construct buildings. ‘Nearly zero energy buildings (nZEB) are being promoted by national and international regulations, and require the integration of renewable en- ergy systems. A closer coordination with the EU’s Bauhaus initiative would be beneficial. Decarbonisation is driving electrification, for example through the use of heat pumps for heating and cooling, as well as increasing need for charging of electric vehicles (EVs). PV is expected to play a crucial role as the most important technology for the supply of electrical energy of buildings. Buildings offer the possibility of consuming PV electricity close to its place of production (creating savings in grid investment) and of generating PV electricity without taking up more land. PV in residential and commercial buildings are expected to make up half of PV installations globally until 2050.
The “PV in buildings” sector is hampered by an absence of scalable solutions, but also at the regulation level, which lacks harmonization between PV and building sectors regulations and between unclarified sharing of area be- tween PV, windows and ‛green façade’ elements. On the other hand, in the past decade, technology for aesthetic and functional integration of solar PV into buildings has been developed. Recently, the research focus has moved towards integrating PV with building systems using build- ing information modelling (BIM), aided by progress in tech- niques to acquire and process data.
Targets, Type of Activity and TRL
Action I focuses on technology development at PV module and BOS level, considering both opaque and transparent envelope parts (e.g. solar windows, smart and bi-facial solutions).
Important research topics are: yield-friendly colouring techniques (including hidden PV), structural flexibility, module flexibility, suited voltage levels, the use of and combination with (building) materials other than glass, new encapsulation technologies, and an overall high aes- thetical value that addresses the requirements of archi- tects and designers.
Other important research topics are: resilience against par- tial shading, the interconnection of PV modules that have different sizes, specific thermal control solutions, service life/easy replacement, security of maintenance, software control for quick detection of faults, module substructures and fixing systems to enhance at the same time PV system aesthetics and electricity yield.
In order to decrease costs and enhance quality, reliability and sustainability new approaches are needed both for PV module and BOS development for industrialized mass-pro- duction of customized products and development of pre- fabricated BIPV façade and roof solutions, that incorporate an integrated life cycle approach.
These technology developments require PV/BOS manu- facturers, universities, research centres, architects and designers to work together in (we suggest) “prototyping hubs”.
Form alliances between all stakeholders (both from PV and building sectors, namely investors, owners, architects, installers) with the goal of developing new “solar-activated” building elements.
Develop new schemes and business models for overall responsibility and concepts in order to ac- tivate BIPV as game changer for the re-financing of renovations (more favourable legal and economic boundary conditions for energy communities are needed for large-scale implementation).
Develop energy integration concepts and social be- haviour to maximize the energy matching between PV production and local buildings consumption, supported by new tools and business models to en- sure their economic effectiveness)
Adapt standard EN 50583:2016 – Photovoltaics in buildings (which applies to modules) for BIPV elements by designing appropriate new tests.
Create a new European standard, accepted across the EU looking at the safety of construction and PV, but the interaction between the two can give com- pletely different results;
Territory level, i.e. from local to regional to national to EU level. Fragmentation of territory regulations leads also to conflicting requirements (e.g. local/ national application rules for building permits, individual/local/national application requirements pro- fessional certification schemes for BIPV installers, national safety regulations for implementation of innovative BIPV solutions)
Buildings offer the possibility of consuming PV electricity close to its place of production (creating savings in grid investment) and of generating PV electricity without taking up more land.
|PV in Buildings Systems|
By 2025: “PV in buildings” systems recyclability improved by
|Cost of Manufacturing|
By 2025: Reduced cost of manufacturing, installation and opera-
|Building and District Energy|
By 2025: Building and district Energy Matching indicators
|By 2027: development of BIPV cost-effective solutions support-|
ed by advanced economic and business models for investors
with PBT < 10 years.