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Building integrated photovoltaics - technology status

BIPV modules provide a high degree of design possibilities and additional functionalities in combination with the plain electricity generation well known for standard photovoltaic installations. Consequently, the specialized know-how to understand BIPV, properly design and manufacture them requires much more than the electrical knowledge developed and applied in standard photovoltaic systems. Expertise of building physics and building regulations are also required on a high level. As BIPV modules are usually custom designed, typical electrical design and simulation tools cannot be used without modifications, while deeper insight of complex shading influences and specialized overall system design are advantageous. Authors of this publication were involved in well over 1000 BIPV system designs and developments, and their experiences are shared. Recurring questions, issues and mistakes of various BIPV projects are touched, whereas special emphasis is provided on BIPV engineering procedures, system design complexity, as well as shading issues and differentiation of shading according to their origin.
PAPER REVISED: 2020-10-05
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2020-10-22
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