Sunday, February 7, 2010

Acronym in architecture: BIPV for building integrated photovoltaics

The term building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) refers to “the architectural, structural and aesthetic integration of photovoltaics into buildings, allowing the incorporation of energy generation into everyday structures such as homes, schools, offices, hospitals and all sort of buildings”[1]. Photovoltaic device and module integration, as a renewable energy technology, produces on-site energy from sunlight. BIPV installations can stand alone (off-grid BIPV systems) or be interfaced with the available utility grid (grid-tied BIPV systems) [2]. BIPV advances as a sustainable practice avoiding adverse environmental impacts associated with the production of electricity from non-renewable resources such as fossil and nuclear fuel. Affordability and growth of BIPV construction depends on the future cost of solar cells and modules as well as the life cycle design of the integrated photovoltaic and building materials. A project to study these aspects of “industrial ecology” has been undertaken [3].
The BIPV concept and technology is multifunctional [1,7]: beyond electricity generation, BIPV-based design includes purposes such as weather protection, thermal insulation, noise protection and modulation of daylight.

The English term building integrated photovoltaics in other languages:
French: renforcement des systèmes photovoltaïques intégrés
German: gebäudeintegrierte Photovoltaik
Italian: costruzione di impianto fotovoltaico integrato
Spanish: construccion de la energía fotovoltaica integrada

Keywords: architecture, photovoltaics, sustainable engineering, translation

[1] Mario Pagliaro, Rosaria Ciriminna and Giovanni Palmisano: BIPV: merging photovoltaic with the construction industry. Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl. January 2010, 18 (1), pp. 61-72. DOI: 10.1002/pip.920.
[2] Steven Strong: Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) at
[3] Gregory Keoleian and team members: Life Cycle Design of Building Integrated Photovoltaic Systems at
[4] Mario Pagliaro: BIPV - Il fotovoltaico integrato nell'edilizia at www.qualitas
[5] Stillwell Avenue Station at
[6] Integrierte Photovoltaik Demonstrationsanlage Dimbach at
[7] F. Crassard and J. Rode: The evolution of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) in the German and French technological innovation systems for solar cells. Master of Science Thesis in Management and Economics of Innovation, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, 2007. Essay at

No comments:

Post a Comment