“Integrated PV” stands for photovoltaics that are embedded into components fulfilling other functions. The most well-known and developed application currently is Building Integrated PV (BIPV), in which PV modules are integral part of construction elements (tiles, façade cladding, …) and assembled to constitute a system replacing a conventional building envelope solution. However, other Product Integrated PV (PIPV) solutions are markedly emerging, for example in the car industry (VIPV, i.e. Vehicle Integrated PV). Those BIPV/PIPV solutions offer a great potential to take advantage of unexploited surfaces and significantly contribute to the energy and climate objectives set by the EU.
With the building sector representing around 40% of EU’s final energy demand, a strong focus has been put on BIPV in the scope of achieving objectives defined in the EPBD, such as (nearly) Zero Energy Buildings. Although progressively developing and having the potential for a world-wide market with huge opportunities for the European industry, the market uptake of BIPV remains limited. It has essentially been hindered by the difficulties of the industry in providing holistic and bundled solutions, higher upfront cost causing the value proposition of such solution to be difficult to perceive,, as well as a lack of effective collaboration between stakeholders of the PV and building sectors. Achievement of significant cost reductions, flexibility of design and aesthetics, high performance, reliability in the long-term, partial standardization of manufacturing and uniformization and improvement of regulations are critical factors for an enhanced market deployment of BIPV. Structural collaborative innovation and development efforts are needed, involving both PV and building sectors.
Various ongoing Horizon 2020 projects are addressing these issues:
- PVSITES (2016-2020): Building-integrated photovoltaic technologies and systems for large-scale market deployment
- EnergyMatching (2017-2022): Adaptive and adaptable envelope RES solutions for energy harvesting to optimize EU building and district load
- BIPVBOOST (2018-2022): Bringing down costs of BIPV multifunctional solutions and processes along the value chain, enabling widespread nZEBs implementation
Vehicle Integrated PV also has a great potential to help the EU advance towards its energy and climate objectives. It will facilitate the integration of electric vehicles into the car fleet and into the electricity grid by, for example, extending range, reducing electric loads, supporting car lighting, air conditioning and other energy-demanding accessories. Moreover, additional value can be generated when combining VIPV with batteries in the frame of innovative approaches, such as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services.
Although still at an early developing stage, conventional vehicle manufacturers are starting to consider this technology in the conception of their products as they are slowly electrifying their offering, with some noteworthy examples that are already commercialized or will soon be.
Following PV Impact’s objective to stimulate innovative PV manufacturing in Europe and to foster collaboration across the value chain, interactive matchmaking events focusing on “Integrated PV” are planned. The first of these events will take place on May 6th 2020.
All information can be found here.