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BIPV: Solar-Powered Buildings Revolution 

The need for renewable energy is not hidden from the efficiency-intensive construction industry. Hence, a strict focus of the leading businesses is to generate new avenues for the integration of renewable energy into the building design. One such innovative concept is BIPV- Building Integrated Photovoltaics.

This article helps us understand the revolution offered by BIPV buildings in the modern energy-intensive world. We’ll go through its definition, components, working, applications, and benefits in detail.

What is BIPV?

BIPV is the short form for building integrated photovoltaics. Hence, it refers to the solar power generating system or products that are quickly integrated into the buildings.

Based on the different applications, it is easy to install BIPV on roofs, facades, and externally integrated systems. It not only converts solar energy into electrical energy but offers weather protection, thermal insulation, noise protection, daylight illumination, and safety.

Applications of BIPV panels

Here are the popular applications of the BIPV system:

Roofs

It is easily installed on skylights, tiles, and shingles. 

Facades

It covers BIPV on windows, curtain walls, and cladding.

Externally integrated systems

It refers to using BIPV on externally integrated systems like shading systems or balcony railings.

Components of BIPV- Building Integrated Photovoltaics

After going through the different applications, here are the BIPV’s key components:

Charge controller

It helps regulate the power in and out of the battery storage bank.

Power conversion equipment

It consists of an inverter to convert the PV module’s DC output into compatible AC output with the utility grid.

Photovoltaic modules

The building-integrated photovoltaics can be opaque, semi-transparent, transparent, or crystalline modules.

Backup power supplies

It can be a diesel generator which is usually applied in a stand-alone system.

Power storage system

It consists of a utility grid and several batteries in the stand-alone system.

Proper supporting structures

It covers different supporting and mounting structures like safety wiring, and other hardware.

Working on BIPV system

The different steps involved in the working of BIPV are:

BIPV installation

It starts by replacing the conventional building materials with the roof, facade, or externally integrated system of photovoltaics. 

Solar energy conversion

Sunlight falling on the integrated photovoltaics produces direct current using the photovoltaic effect.

Inverter conversion

The inverter system of BIPV converts the created DC into AC.

Power usage

The final step here is to use the power immediately within the building or store the electricity in batteries. This electricity can be fed back to the grid.

Benefits of BIPV

The key advantages of building-integrated photovoltaics are:

Energy Independence

The use of BIPV reduces the dependence of buildings on traditional electricity sources. Hence, it helps create energy independence for building owners. It is widely adopted by areas prone to electricity blackouts and grid disruptions.

Reduced Environmental Impact

It is easy to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the building by adopting BIPV solar panels. Conventional building materials are effectively replaced by renewable energy-producing surfaces. Hence, it offers a more eco-friendly approach with reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Architectural freedom

The versatility of the BIPV roof helps architects experiment with the different building designs. Hence, they enjoy the benefits of architectural freedom with different applications of BIPV in different methods.

Enhanced Building Aesthetics

BIPV is not only functionally better but is aesthetically amazing when compared to traditional solar systems. Further, these systems can seamlessly integrate into the building architecture without standing out.

Smooth Grid Integration

It is easy to integrate the BIPV system with the grid. This smooth integration allows building owners to earn credits by feeding the grid with the extra electricity produced. 

Enhancing the Value of Property

It is easy to understand that buildings with BIPV panels enjoy high property values when compared to the ones having the same area but no such panels. Hence, the potential buyers are attracted to the energy efficiency of the building and can pay more easily.

Choice of Different Building Materials

It is easy for the designers to go for the different options in materials to find the right BIPV solar panels for a building. It covers a selection of solar shingles, thin-film solar cells, or traditional solar panels. 

Easy Retrofitting

Not only a new BIPV building, but it is easy to retrofit this system into an existing building. Hence, it offers the right option for improving the overall energy efficiency of the old buildings.  

Building Certifications for Sustainability

The value of the buildings with BIPV solar roofs can earn the learning certifications for sustainability. It covers leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Building Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).

Long-Term Financial Savings

Many may argue that the initial costing of the BIPV is money intensive but it gets streamlined when compared to the long-term financial savings. Further, buildings have an earning potential by feeding the generated electricity back to the grid.

Future of BIPV

With the rising focus on creating new avenues for the use of solar energy in buildings, the future of BIPV is bright and prosperous. 

The recent developments in technology and the increase of businesses entering the BIPV offerings will make it accessible and cost-effective for the masses. Hence, it will be a mainstream choice for the construction professionals globally.

The focus of the building integrated PV on creating a sustainable and greener future is set to revolutionize the traditional building processes. 

Key takeaways

So, in conclusion, BIPV offers the much-required help to the construction sector to ensure that a building is self-sufficient to cater to its renewable energy needs. A quick look at its key components, workings, and applications helps understand the different perspectives easily.

Not to miss are BIPV’s key benefits and prospects making it the right investment for a sustainable future.

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