Avoiding snow and ice accretion on building integrated photovoltaics - challenges, strategies, and opportunities
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells. 2020, 206 1-12. 10.1016/j.solmat.2019.110306
As building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are becoming increasingly popular, the demand for optimized utilization will be increasing with respect to efficiency, aesthetics and reliability. In cold climate regions, we predict that there will also be a growing focus on how to avoid snow and ice formation on the exterior surfaces of BIPV. During the winter period there is substantially less incident solar radiation. This is also the period when the solar radiation is most needed for heating, lighting and power production purposes. The task to avoid accretion of snow and ice is challenging due to the fact that snow, ice and ambient weather conditions exist in countless variations and combinations. Snowfall, freezing of rain water and condensation of air moisture with subsequent freezing, are examples of aspects that have to be addressed in a satisfactory way. The present study aims to review the cold weather challenges facing BIPV, the strategies for overcoming them and the opportunities that follow from successfully overcoming them.