Changes In BIPV Components Can Hike PV Efficiency By 4.5%: Study

Highlights :

  • A research report claimed that an increase in the reflective capacity (albedo) of roofs in BIPV can increase the efficiency of solar panels upto 4.5%.
  • The study was undertaken by researchers from the University of Wales (Australia) and Calcutta University.
Changes In BIPV Components Can Hike PV Efficiency By 4.5%: Study A 0.1% Surge In Roof Albedo In BIPV Can Hike PV Efficiency By 4.5%: Report

A recent research report on Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) and its impact in cooling roofs shed light on several interesting facts. The research was undertaken by the researchers from the University of South Wales (Australia) and Calcutta University. The study demonstrated the growing significance of rooftop-integrated photovoltaic systems (PVs) in the solar energy landscape.

The study pointed out that the increasing the reflective capacity of the rooftop (albedo) can significantly increase the overall efficiency of solar panels used in BIPV. “Numerous studies have assessed the impact of increased roof albedo on the energy yield of the monofacial and bifacial PVs for given installation characteristics and specific climatic conditions. There is a serious need to collect, analyse, compare, and parameterize the existing information in order to provide more global and holistic knowledge to the PVs industry,” the report said.

The report claimed that a minor increased in albedo could pave the way for increased solar efficiency, hinting at the role of surface material for overall efficiency of the solar panels. “We have analysed 13 and 57 case studies reporting the impact of modified roof albedo on the energy yield of monofacial and bifacial PV modules, respectively. It is concluded that, on average, increasing the roof albedo by 0.1 contributes to enhance the energy production of monofacial and bifacial PV modules by 0.7% and 4.55% respectively while delivering important co-benefits to urban heat mitigation,” the report said. 

The report said that the parametric relations between the potential increase of the roof albedo and the increase of the annual energy yield were proposed for both monofacial and bifacial PV modules. The impact of the geographic and installation parameters on the energy production of the modules were analysed and discussed in the study with the help of simulation studies. The researchers said that the results of such a study could help to identify the optimal roof albedo for maximizing energy performance and reducing energy costs. 

Researchers said that it was crucial to note that many of these case studies relied on simulations. While these simulations were generally well-validated against experimental data, enhancing accuracy and validity remained a priority. Further detailed experimental studies conducted under a wide array of geographic and installation conditions could contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of albedo on PV system performance.

According to other studies, BIPV, now account for a substantial share, ranging from 30% to 43%, of new annual PV installations. This has led to a considerable expansion of the BIPV market, which was estimated to be valued at $14.0 billion in 2020. Projections indicate that this market could experience substantial growth, reaching a value of nearly $86.7 billion by 2030. This growing adoption of rooftop PVs in densely populated urban areas holds promise for supplying a significant portion of a city’s power needs while simultaneously reducing dependence on polluting conventional energy sources. However, the urban environment presents unique challenges, impacting PV system performance and potentially affecting the thermal balance of cities.

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