In the year ahead the PVSITES consortium will complete its most important milestones towards the demonstration of building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technologies and systems. These include the finalization of functional, innovative BIPV products and their implementation at the project’s six demonstration sites across Europe.
We offer you an overview of our latest progress and of what to look forward to in 2018:
In addition to the glazed crystalline silicon prototypes already introduced by Onyx Solar, project partner Flisom has developed a range of lightweight thin-film BIPV products based on CIGS technology. The flexible active PV layer is encapsulated onto rigid backplates made of steel or aluminum, which can be easily integrated in building envelopes as roof shingles or façade elements.
↑ Two CIGS products from Flisom: a small-size roof shingle and a large industrial roof shingle.
Fulfilling an important requirement for industrial buildings, large white-colored roofing shingles able to reduce overheating during summertime are under production. Bended edges will allow for easy assembly while air circulation in the channel underneath the panels will further improve cooling and PV production. All produced CIGS shingles are engineered to be fully-compliant with the recently adopted standard EN50583 on photovoltaics in buildings.
Low-concentration PV with solar control
Testing of the experimental low-concentration passive solar control system is about to start at Acciona’s facilities in Sevilla.
The developed optical system, with no mechanical parts, is designed to concentrate solar radiation onto PV cells during the summer (increasing PV production and reducing building cooling needs) and to direct light towards the interior of the building during the winter. The impact of the passive solar control system on electrical production and indoor thermal comfort will be monitored in real time.
↑ The test bench prior to the installation of the low-concentration Fresnel lenses.
Gearing up for demonstration
The most mature PVSITES products will be installed at the six demonstration sites in Belgium, France, Switzerland and Spain in the coming months, with preparations currently in the final stages.
As a new development, construction work for two carports is about to start near Zurich. The carport structure is built around curved CIGS tiles, providing both functional and esthetic value.
↑ The carports include an Electric Vehicle charger, so that the PV electricity can be directly used.
In France, our partner Vilogia is urgently looking for an installer to implement a ventilated BIPV façade at their demonstration site in Wattignies. Find details in the issued call for candidates and don’t hesitate to spread the word to your contacts!
Training courses for installers
Our project experience evidenced the lack of qualified BIPV installers as one of the limitations to market uptake of the technology in Europe. Contributing to solving the issue, PVSITES partners will organize free practical training sessions at the project demonstration sites, for all interested construction actors. The courses will be organized in local languages (French, German, Spanish) and should take place this summer and autumn.
↑ Location of the upcoming training courses for installers.
Interested? Register here to be informed as soon as more details become available.
CADCAMation recently released a fully-functional beta version of the PVSITES software, now accessible for free to all users on a dedicated online platform. The BIM-compatible suite is designed to ease the integration of BIPV systems in buildings at the design stage, covering the electrical, thermal and optical domains.
↑ Visualisation of available irradiance on all model surfaces (EHG demo site).
↑ Module stringing and monthly composition of received irradiance (Belgian demo site).
A detailed list of available and planned features is available here. We invite you to give the tool a try and share your feedback with the developer in the months ahead. This phase will greatly help refine the software prior to its commercial release in 2019.
Besides the ongoing efforts to finalize and monitor all demonstration site installations this year, PVSITES partners will continue developing experimental BIPV products such as curved glass CIGS modules. A detailed life-cycle analysis will also be conducted at the system level for all developed products.
In the meantime a new batch of public reports will soon be released, including technical characteristics for the produced BIPV modules and Building Energy Management System (BEMS).
Finally we anticipate participation at several events this year, including the Sustainable Places conference in France and the International Congress on Architectural Envelopes (ICAE) in Spain. Come meet us - we look forward to discussing our latest developments with you!