Performance of Building Integrated Photovoltaics with respect to Architectural Integration and Geographical Location
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Currently, we are living in a world where any human activity and any process linked to it, needs energy. From the technology up to daily life, across research and primary needs. To support this necessity of energy the world is still using fossil fuel at an alarming rate that not only will strain the sources in the near future, but will result in a great amount of pollution as well. However, something is changing: the growth of primary production from renewable energy sources exceeded that of all the other energy types.Since building is one of the activities that has the highest energetic consumption, we should focus on construction and find a strategic way to convert buildings from something that depletes energy to a source of clear energy. Looking for make this aim reality, an elegant and environmentally friendly solution for energy production in buildings is to use building integrated photovoltaic systems (BIPV), which replace the outer building envelope skin, in order to serve simultaneously as both a climate protection screen and a power source generating electricity from solar radiation.Photovoltaic systems can be integrated into a variety of building appliances: roof, façades, and shading devices. Since BIPV systems replace building components they have to provide specific performance requirements such as structural integrity or comfortable internal conditions. Moreover, in order to have good results and to generate maximum power from building integrated systems, certain design aspects have to be taken into account. For example, the shadowing is the major barrier for the power production because the loss due to the shadow is not proportional to the number of the shaded cells but reduces the whole system electricity output significantly. The investigation shows the ways on which photovoltaic system can be integrated in buildings and the specific requirements that BIPV components need to satisfy. Moreover are analysed the energy production data of five Norwegian BIPV installations related to some design issues, and several strategies for the development of this technology.Then, the focus is on a building called zero emission buildings (ZEB) Living Lab that is located in Trondheim (Norway). Upon its roof are installed 71.2 m2 of photovoltaic panels. Its roof configuration, arranged in this geographical location, is negatively affecting the energy production. Hence, in order to highlight how design and geographical location of the building are affecting the energy production from BIPV, three different cities (Trondheim, Turin and Riyadh) and five different roof configurations have been selected to run simulations and compare the results. They are also shown the solar features in general and for each city, how it is possible to maximize energy production, and how calculate the optimum tilt angle of photovoltaic panel.The benefits of BIPV are several, not only economic but also social. Despite this, some barriers for BIPV applications are still present, for example, the upfront capital cost is the most important. Government supports have a crucial role in the development and application of this new technology, but also other characters, as manufacturers, designer and users, are involved in this supply chain. All these figures need to work together in a synergistic team game to drive the uptake and diffusion of BIPV in construction.