BIPV’s, fancy for Building Integrated Photo-Vaultic Systems

16 Oct , 2014  

 Backos, G. C., M Soursos, N.F Tsagas. “Technoeconomic Assessment of a Building-Integrated PV System for Electrical Energy Saving in Residential Sector.” Energy and Buildings 35.8 (2003): 757-762. Web. 15 Oct. 2014.

From the Energy and Buildings journal, an example of building integrated photovaultics is shown in the country of Greece. First of all, BIPV’s are a type of solar PV power that is built into architecture. For example roof tiles could be made, or special coatings could be put on windows to generate electricity without showing much aesthetic difference in the structure. “The targets of this investment were the reduction of electricity demand and the stimulation of general population ecological “sense” since people will realize that it is possible to have comfortable living conditions and at the same time to protect the environment.” In this article, the economic value of BIPV’s is analyzed and compared with the pros and cons of PV energy production. PV power has the potential to offset our current primary energy sources of coal and oil. The issue is, “PV is up to five times more expensive than grid power.” This being said, researchers evaluated Greece to see if these high prices were worth it in the long run.

On the upside, BIPV’s do not take up any space as many other forms of solar energy do, they conserve energy in the highest efficiency, and they provide a “less expensive support structure” for buildings. BIPV technology is developed by “educational and research institutes” but are applied by private companies.

The specific system tested in the research of this article would cover 50% of the “annual energy demand” of the structure that the PV cell is on. The Greek government does support the growth of BIPV’s because their energy policies aim to develop Greece regionally and economically. However, it was concluded that “The rigorous economic analysis that calculates the costs of electricity generated by the BIPV system leads to the conclusion that, except for some remote areas such as the Greek islands where the cost of kWh is high, there is no incentive for central grid-connected consumers to purchase a PV system for their electricity supply.” In other words, Greece is not a country in which PV systems would be economically beneficial. If the costs of BIPV’s were reduced by “changing module manufacture,” the technology could have the potential to become more widespread. And most importantly of all, information about the systems is key to BIPV’s success.

All of this being said, this topic ties into my research project because it deals with PV solar technology, but it also brings up the issue of finance when dealing with solar systems. Most of the time people see the benefits of renewable energy sources and don’t understand that those options are not always feasible especially for the lower class. As I learned in the last article, people with higher education, younger age, and more money are the optimal market to new fields of energy technology. Perhaps only countries with a higher percentage of this kind of market would find success with BIPV’s and other cutting edge renewable technologies. The tie between economics, practicality, and information to the public are the biggest issues that solar technologies such as BIPV’s must face.

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1 Response

  1. crawfordml says:

    With MLA citations, need to spell out first names. Looks great otherwise.

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