Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Energy saving potential of semi-transparent photovoltaic elements for building integration

Publication date: Available online 15 September 2014
Author(s): L. Olivieri , E. Caamaño-Martín , F.J. Moralejo-Vázquez , N. Martín-Chivelet , F. Olivieri , F.J. Neila-Gonzalez
Within the building energy saving strategies, BIPV (building integrated photovoltaic systems) present a promising potential based on the close relationship existing between these multifunctional systems and the overall building energy balance. Building integration of STPV (semi-transparent photovoltaic) elements affects deeply the building energy demand since it influences the heating, cooling and lighting loads as well as the local electricity generation. This work analyses over different window-to-wall ratios the overall energy performance of five STPV elements, each element having a specific degree of transparency, in order to assess the energy saving potential compared to a conventional solar control glass compliant with the local technical standard. The prior optical characterization, focused to measure the spectral properties of the elements, was experimentally undertaken. The obtained data were used to perform simulations based on a reference office building using a package of specific software tools (DesignBuilder, EnergyPlus, PVsyst, and COMFEN) to take proper account of the STPV peculiarities. To evaluate the global energy performance of the STPV elements a new Energy Balance Index was formulated. The results show that for intermediate and large façade openings the energy saving potential provided by the STPV solutions ranges between 18% and 59% compared to the reference glass.

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