Globally, the research focus has been on designing photovoltaic thermal systems for new build yet only one to two percent of the existing building stock is added to or replaced by new build each year. This project aims to increase deployment of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) by developing an evidence-based decision support system for optimising BIPV-thermal configurations for building retrofits.
BlueScope Steel Limited- in partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute and The Sustainable Buildings Research Centre at The University of Wollongong- will develop a systematic approach and methodology to optimise the design configuration and sizing of building integrated photovoltaic thermal (BIPV-T) systems to suit installation on existing Australian buildings.
The project will focus on lowering the cost of BIPV by integrating thin-film photovoltaic laminate technologies with ducting of air underneath for thermal control of the photovoltaic cells and use of the thermal energy for heating and or cooling.
The project also includes a feasibility study to expand the functionality of BIPV-T to include storage through the integration of BIPV-T and phase change materials. BlueScope will develop an evidence-based decision support system that can assist:
• building owners to understand the performance/cost saving outcomes of installing a BIPV-T system
• designers, builders, installers to identify the ideal design configurations of BIPV-T systems to ensure optimal performance cost savings for the wide range of climatic conditions and existing building types
• project partners to determine if BIPV-TPCM systems offer a viable opportunity for further BIPV enhancements and cost reductions in retrofit circumstances.
This project will result in a decision support framework specific to Australian conditions that could lead to widespread deployment of thin-film solar cells integrated into Australian buildings.
Fact Sheet: Expanding the value proposition for Building Integrated Photovoltaics: Thin-film Building Integrated Photovoltaic Thermal retrofitting of buildings (PDF 323KB)