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building integrated photovoltaics

PCM-based passive cooling for BIPV systems

Indian scientists tested four kinds of phase change materials (PCMs) for solar module cooling in building-integrated photovoltaics. The PCMs were encapsulated with the PV system and the building envelopes and were also found to be beneficial to the thermal comfort inside the buildings.

Australia’s ‘largest’ solar facade

Victorian-based property developer Beulah has announced its soon-to-be-completed Paragon tower, in the heart of Melbourne, will be home to the nation’s largest and most efficient vertical solar PV system.

Solar tile made in Germany

German manufacturer Autarq is selling its solar tiles at a price ranging from €25 to €30 per piece. It claims a PV system built with these products can cover around 70% of household needs.


Solar window based on luminescent solar concentrators

U.S. scientists have put luminescent solar concentrators in a windowpane to absorb certain light wavelengths and transmit them to solar cells. The concentrators are made of a conjugated polymer sandwiched between window layers.


Large-size solar tile from Spain

The product is available both with monocrystalline and CIGS solar cells and is claimed to be the world’s largest solar tile with dimensions of 457 x 510 mm.


Fraunhofer ISE develops technique to produce glowing colored solar modules

The German research institute has proposed a technique based on the surface structure of the wings of the morpho butterfly to produce colored BIPV panels for facades and rooftops. The process is claimed to make it possible to color the modules with an optical effect and not with color pigments, which reduce their efficiency.


BIPV windows viable only if they add soft value to buildings

Solar windows are only likely to reach commercial maturity when manufacturers consider how they can add “soft” value to buildings, as required by the construction industry. In order to increase this value, increasing their conversion efficiency will become less important, while understanding how to blend them into the existing value chain in the real estate business will be crucial.

Colored facade solar panels with 13.8% efficiency

Dutch startup Solarix has developed a new line of facade solar panels featuring 13.8% efficiency and output ranging from 110 to 180 W, depending on the module size and color. The panels can be bolted or glued onto aluminum mounting systems applied to facades.


Solar facade for 3D-printed concrete house

Taiwan-based Heliartec has deployed a solar facade on a 3D-printed concrete house in Belgium. It said it installed the solar facade with the “circular construction” philosophy in mind.


Ever heard of photovoltatronics, the new frontier of solar in urban environments?

Scientists in the Netherlands are planning to build intelligent PV devices for energy and information applications. Their intention is to make this approach a new field of PV research, whose ultimate goal is enabling solar cells to communicate with each other and with other devices, ensuring that all the generated energy ends up exactly where it’s needed, especially in the urban environment.


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