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BIPV Glazing solar module - Building Integrated Photovoltaics

bipv_1.jpgBuilding Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is the integration of photovoltaics (PV) into the building envelope.  The PV modules serve the dual function of building skin—replacing conventional building envelope materials—and power generator. By avoiding the cost of conventional materials, the incremental cost of photovoltaics is reduced and its life-cycle cost is improved. That is, BIPV systems often have lower overall costs than PV systems requiring separate, dedicated, mounting systems.

A complete BIPV system includes:

  1. the PV modules (which might be thin-film or crystalline, transparent, semi-transparent, or opaque);
  2. a charge controller, to regulate the power into and out of the battery storage bank (in stand-alone systems);
  3. a power storage system, generally comprised of the utility grid in utility-interactive systems or, a number of batteries in stand-alone systems;
  4. power conversion equipment including an inverter to convert the PV modules' DC output to AC compatible with the utility grid;
  5. backup power supplies such as diesel generators (optional-typically employed in stand-alone systems); and
  6. appropriate support and mounting hardware, wiring, and safety disconnects.