The integration of photovoltaics in architecture

2010-05-01 | Glazing / Insulating Glass

Photovoltaics and buildings and the combination of the two. It should be easy, we all say, but the application of this renewable energy source in today’s architecture has to be studied in detail to integrate modules in existing and new constructions. Energy needs of the building where the installation is to take place, but also those required for the production of the modules, are all taken into consideration.

The integration of photovoltaics in architecture
PRINCIPLES AND PROBLEMS OF INTEGRATION
Photovoltaic modules are components used for the production of electricity from solar energy and, thanks to their morphological and constructive configuration, are suitable for integration in the external skins of buildings. Their application and integration, however, involve some problems that must be pointed out if we want to optimize the technological and energetic performance of the modules and obtain the correct interaction between them and the other energy installations, the building and environmental conditions. Thanks to the safety, reliability and durability of components available on the market, operators of the sector are carrying out experiments and testing different ways of using photovoltaics, even considering the substitution of traditional building elements, with valid results both at architectural level, as well as with regards to energy performance. Despite numerous positive experiences, we can still see how the availability of ‘solar’ areas suitable for the integration of active conversion components is not proportional to the real use of building practices that include the use of photovoltaic modules among their technological options. The mechanical, acoustic, hygrometric and thermal characteristics of photovoltaics are compatible with the needs and parameters of other construction materials, after, of course, due considerations and assessments. However, these modules are usually created as additional devices, which ar...
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Article taken from Glass-Technology International bi-monthly magazine (6 issues per year)
Year: 2010 number: 3
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