BIPV has yet to reach its full potential in the U.S., but a couple companies are giving it a shot.
Soltecture's Corium thin-film CIGS BIPV is installed on the company's headquarters in Berlin.
Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV)--photovoltaic (PV) modules integrated into functional building elements, such as roofs, glazings, and building façades--are fairly common in Europe and Asia. Yet finding commercial BIPV façade products
in the U.S. is nearly impossible. Why is that?
There are a number of possibilities, including lack of suitable new projects due to the economy, a tempestuous PV market, and concerns about reliability and performance, to name a few--but the real reason might be a lot simpler.
Code compliance and bureaucracy
According to Steven Strong, president of Solar Design Associates, architects are not likely to design a façade around a BIPV manufacturer's standard PV panel offerings. The panels usually have to be custom-built for the project, and therein lies the problem.