Building Integrated Photovoltaics. Report 2015

Frontini, Francesco and Bonomo, Pierluigi and Chatzipanagi, Anatoli and Van den Donker, Menno and Verbene, Guus and Sinapis, Kostas and Folkerts, Wiep (2015) Building Integrated Photovoltaics. Report 2015. Technical Report UNSPECIFIED


Download (4MB) | Preview


Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is about multifunctional building elements that generate electricity. BIPV therefore brings the worlds of construction and photovoltaics together with all the challenges and chances inherent to such a change of paradigm. After more than 20 years of R&D, the market for building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) has kicked off with very interesting products and elegant showcase projects. The birth of this market has been based on an enormous progress in PV technology development (cost-wise and performance-wise), together with the vision of some leading architects and industries. Today the European BIPV market is supported by approximately 200 commercially available products. The SUPSI-SEAC report 2015 gives a comprehensive overview of BIPV, its product classification, its price levels, its available products and its example projects. The report starts off with an adapted classification of BIPV systems according to the most recent developments in the market. We believe that this classification system serves the purpose of understanding the market segmentation and the product segmentation in BIPV. Three main application areas are distinguished: Pitched roofs, flat & curved roofs and façades. The application areas are sub-divided into thirteen different product categories. A short description and a photograph of an application is given per product category. Next, we investigate the price levels for the various product categories. The investigation was made by asking Dutch and Swiss BIPV installers to quote on a fictional building. PV products were found to be priced about 200 €/m2 above conventional roof products like tiles or shingles. In façade systems, this is different. PV products were priced very similar to conventional façades made from materials like wood, stone or glass. A major factor in the price levels of the BIPV applications was whether standard size PV panels or nonstandard size PV panels were used. In the first case BIPV pricing could come close to conventional PV pricing. In the second case the price could be a factor 3 higher than conventional PV applications. We also present our updated database of BIPV products available. It consists of 108 BIPV products that are commercially available in Europe, with a focus on the Dutch and Swiss markets. The database evolved out of the networks of SEAC and SUPSI together with results of our internet search and trade fair visits. In earlier publications, the market analysis made through the database of the SUPSI website and the published BIPV report by SEAC showed that the most common products for roof applications were “In-roof mounting systems”, while “solar glazing” and “cold façades” (”cladding”) represented the majority of façade applications. In this new analysis, we find that the most abundantly populated product categories are “Full roof solution” and “Solar glazing”. The least occupied product groups are “PV membranes”, “Metal panels” and “Warm façades”. Judging from the sheer amount of products available, rooftop applications have the largest market share within BIPV. In the utility and commercial segments, façade BIPV systems are expected to gain importance. The key market driver for this segment is the European Directive 2010/31/EU, which states that each new building should be made ‘nearly zero energy’ from 2020 onwards. Façade PV systems are essential to meet this demand, as in many utility and commercial buildings the roof is simply not large enough to generate all the required energy. The dominant PV technology in BIPV is found to be crystalline silicon (c-Si). Nonetheless, relatively high market shares for thin film technology of up to 25% are found. Thin film PV technology is getting significant attention especially in façade systems, because of its homogeneous color (black) appearance and a lower price per m2. A potential market opportunity lies in lightweight flexible thin film products for application on curved surfaces and flat roofs with small weight capacity. Many example projects can be found, but commercially available products are not easy to find, and do not appear in this year’s database. Eight examples of BIPV projects are described from various product categories and application areas. We hope these existing projects will serve as catalysts, from which more architects, construction companies and end-users will get stimulated to apply BIPV solutions in their buildings. Finally, we wish to look ahead towards a successful BIPV future. In our vision, the further development of the BIPV market in Europe will depend on a number of key factors. Three of those factors are related to a stable predictable market situation: ◆ A stable and predictable roadmap of building directives and regulations: BIPV as the way to meet energy regulations for buildings and at the same time satisfy value drivers in the building industry (investor’s value, architectural quality, comfort); ◆ Development of European harmonized standards, technical rules and building codes in order to allow BIPV products to address the complete European market; A stable and predictable roadmap of financial incentives (market stimulation) for PV application in general. Other success factors are related to product positioning, supply chain and cooperation between sectors: ◆ Concerted efforts by players in the BIPV supply chain to work together in accordance with a collaborative and integral design/building process. BIPV will require not only a technological integration but an integration in the whole building process; ◆ Smart engineering and manufacturing of BIPV products such that low cost (€/Wp as well as €/m 2) can be combined with the high mix requirements from the building market. In the meantime, a way to approach the price-challenge would be to sell BIPV in a “irrational way”. That is as a feel-good product, a fashion product and/or a status product. This will take the buying decision away from considerations like payback time. ◆ A broad support and acceptance of the central BIPV vision: i.e. that BIPV can be considered as a building material producing energy; ◆ Europe is a front runner in policy development on sustainability (building codes, incentives). Furthermore the European industry is well positioned as a supplier of high mix product offerings based on smart engineering and innovative technology. Therefore we believe that BIPV is a very promising product-market combination for European industry!

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item