Recharging the facade : designing and constructing novel BIPV assemblies
Author(s)Keller, Alexander Freimark
Building Integrated Photovoltaics assemblies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
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Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) have been the subject of research and design applications for several decades. While some large-scale applications have been realized, prohibitively high costs and multiple technical complexities persist. A main cause of these challenges is a lack of system-level design and engineering ofphotovoltaic (PV) systems coupled with traditional methods of building construction. PV installation remains a highly specialized construction practice and is typically completed by skilled experts in the field who deal with intricate electrical connections like wiring to batteries and inverters. This complicated installation process, in addition to other soft costs like permitting and system components, account for approximately fifty percent of the overall cost of a solar power system. The installation of photovoltaic systems must be simplified and streamlined to make PV more cost effective. Furthermore, existing BIPV strategies fail to address two key concerns that have negatively impacted the power output and efficiency of the system: optimal tilt angle and high cell temperature. Low cell efficiency will continue to hinder BIPV's penetration in the market without design strategies that ensure higher yields. This thesis presents the design, development, and construction of two novel BIPV products. One is integrated with masonry construction, and the other is integrated with pre-fabricated panel construction. An experimental methodology was developed in order to test and analyze the effectiveness of the systems' design strategies for providing an optimal tilt angle, cooling and heat recovery capabilities, and finally, financial viability. Preliminary results reveal that the optimal geometry of the system provides 30% more power compared to vertically oriented wall systems. Secondly, the strategy for cell cooling provides the system with on average 9% more power. Lastly, the integration of these systems during construction can decrease overall costs by as much as 17% compared to typical PV systems.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2013.Pages 156-157 blank. Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 149-154).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology