What is BIPV?
The acronym BIPV is referred to systems in which the photovoltaic element (PV), along with the role to produce energy, becomes a building component, integrated part of architecture and building skin.
The origin of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is a pioneering experimentation conducted in architecture in 1978-82: a glazed surface of a residential unit in Munich designed by Thomas Herzog in collaboration with Fraunhofer. Since 1990s, the trends of BIPV have increased worldwide both in terms of research and industrial projects for improving BIPV products and applications in buildings.
Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is about multifunctional building elements that generate electricity. BIPV are dual-purpose: they serve as both the outer layer of a structure and generate electricity for on-site use or export to the grid.
BIPV systems are planned during the architectural design stage and are added during initial construction. Building-added PV (BAPV) is planned and built during a retrofit.
BIPV/BAPV systems can provide savings in materials and electricity costs, reduce pollution, and add to the architectural appeal of a building.