Analysis for positioning a R&D-focus on "Building integrated Photovoltaic" in Austria
Aim of this study is to investigate if building integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) can be developed and produced competitively in Austria. Analysing the current situation shows, the challenge for aesthetic PV lies in existing roofing structures, mainly due to the complexity of the roofs as well as frequently used superstructures. New technical solutions showing high flexibility in backing materials, colours, shapes and sizes are needed as well as flexible concepts for module connection.
The main topics for larger new buildings are innovative roof-top installations, shading, facade- integration and roof gardens with PV. Multi-functionality is not reached frequently, especially at roof-top installations.
Contents and goals
Established roof and façade-producer together with the PV industry should work on integrated, prefabricated PV facades and roof-elements, with the functionality of insulation, tightening, etc., additionally to the main purpose of PV elements, the production of electricity. For 2017 a global turnover of 2,4 billion USD is expected for BIPV.
Methods and Treatment
Concerning the positioning of a R&D program for BIPV, many industries could be identified as possible participants in a BIPV value chain.
Since there are no Austrian producers of solar silicon and cells, the Austrian industry can end up with a maximum of 75% of the total revenue of a GIPV system. Research in Austria is well positioned for BIPV, there are some globally well performing industries and some start-up companies.
The final SWOT analysis shows as strengths the existence of a small but strong industry, which could theoretically work in GIPV, as well as the active and via the PV Technology platform well-coordinated PV innovation.
High price differences to standard PV, existing standards and building regulations as well as the lack of support measures for GIPV are seen as the main risks. Market-subsidies, significantly higher than for standard PV, would be extremely supportive in order to put R&D results into practice.
A BIPV R&D program should be defined comprehensively: beside material/cell/module research the topic light and energy-management in the urban area, development of new business models as well as education and training for all stakeholders are recommended. BIPV demo projects respectively a national BIPV-wide-range test with scientific monitoring would significantly accelerate the innovation circle.
Hubert Fechner - Technikum Wien
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