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Building-integrated photovoltaic technologies and systems for large-scale market deployment

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PVSITES (Building-integrated photovoltaic technologies and systems for large-scale market deployment)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2017-03-31

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) is currently an expansive market. However, despite a favorable framework, it is a fact that estimations of BIPV market growth have been overestimated in the past few years. A series of demands from the stakeholders which have not been properly addressed by the BIPV value chain are the main cause for this deviation. These key requirements are mainly related to the flexibility in design and aesthetics considerations, lack of tools integrating PV and building performance assisting the design phase, demonstration of long-term reliability of the technology, compliance with legal regulations and cost effectiveness.

The main objective of PVSITES project is to pave the way towards a large market deployment of BIPV technology by demonstrating an ambitious portfolio of building-integrated solar technologies and systems. The project activities are focused on providing a forceful, reliable answer to the market requirements identified by the industrial members of the consortium in their day-to-day activity. Six high impact demonstration installations across Europe will be accomplished in terms of cost-effective renewable generation, reduction of energy demands and smart energy management.
The work performed during the first reporting period has progressed in accordance with the Grant Agreement and practically every objective and expected result has been accomplished in time. As a general overview, the following technical results achieved can be highlighted:
(1) A multiple set of c-Si based glass-glass solutions has been developed and operational prototypes have been manufactured.
(2) CIGS cell material with 12% sub-module efficiency has been produced. Large format CIGS based elements of metal substrates, have been manufactured. Continuous development and ramp-up in progress.
(3) Best storage solutions defined. High efficiency, low cost and flexible 10kW three-phase functional PV storage inverter prototypes manufactured. SiC inverter designed, manufacturing in progress.
(4) Low cost 24-hours-ahead building consumption forecasting tools have been developed and innovative energy management strategies have been designed.
(5) BIPV software tool developed and released in beta version. First prototype of webServices platform developed.
(6) Energy and constructive audits for the six demonstration sites and assessment of BIPV integration possibilities performed. Monitoring installed in four of the demo sites.
The consortium has intensively worked in exploitation related activities, including a market and stakeholder analysis; identification and characterisation of exploitable results, exploitation routes and SWOT analysis and characterisation of existing business models for BIPV. The partners have also been very active in terms of dissemination and communication activities, achieving, e.g. 1 scientific publication, 7 general purpose publications and 17 participations in conferences, workshops and other events.
The progress beyond the state of the art of the solutions proposed within PVSITES project can be summarized as follows:

BIPV modules based on c-Si technology:
A wide portfolio of BIPV solutions based on high efficiency c-Si BIPV modules will strengthen the available catalogue of the technology. The approach substantially reinforces the aesthetic, flexibility of design and high performance considerations as a gate to achieving a better acceptance from decision-makers. Different strategies based on occultation of metallic contacts, high efficiency back-contact solar cells, and large module formats will be demonstrated. In addition, a low-concentration BIPV system will be demonstrated, providing improved performance in terms of electricity generation and reduction of cooling demands.

BIPV modules based on CIGS thin film technology:
A range of BIPV solutions based on high efficiency flexible lightweight CIGS thin film solar modules will open a new paradigm in cost effective BIPV applications. Monolithically connected flexible lightweight CIGS solar modules produced with Flisom roll-to-roll manufacturing process can provide low production cost of solar modules and open unprecedented opportunities for applications as roofs and facades in energy efficient buildings.

BIPV software tool:
A unique software tool for the coupled simulation of BIPV elements and building energy performance is being developed, with simulation capabilities for different architectural implementations and PV technologies. Possibility of simulating hybridization between BIPV and other active technologies. Analysis of compliance of the whole building design with legal requirements. Economic assessment in real operational conditions, payback time. Associated web services.

Grid interface technologies:
The following innovative technologies are proposed in PVSITES:
• A new planner tool in order to get the maximum from selected batteries for each use case reducing the cost per unit of energy served.
• New power conversion designs (low-cost and high efficiency PV inverter with DC coupled storage system and a low-cost and robust PV inverter based in SiC technology) in order to reduce the number of required power stages and enhance the conversion efficiency of the whole system.
• Novel low cost and reliable 24-hours-ahead forecasting tools in order to develop innovative energy management strategies increasing overall economic performance.
• Integration of active load management tools into building energy management system in order to reduce required storage capacity and correct potential deviations in forecast.

The main impacts expected from the project can be summarized as follows:

Replicability: The BIPV products proposed are conceived as an holistic answer to market demands, combining flexibility of design with standardization in order to promote market replication. Demonstration buildings have been chosen attending to criteria of market replication potential, associated with their industrial activity or the type of building entrusted to the project. An effort has been done to cover different building types and uses, architectural implementations and climatic conditions.

Socio-economic: The project will contribute to strengthening the European BIPV and construction industries, through a significant increase in installed capacity and as a consequence a very relevant direct and indirect job creation. These targets will consequently improve EU access to energy and energy security. Another key impact is the increase of stakeholder awareness on renewable energy generation.

Environmental: Bringing down costs of renewable energy, increased reliability and lifetime. Reduction of CO2 emissions and life-cycle environmental impact. Contribution to EU energy and climate roadmaps, especially those related with on-site electricity generation in the building sector.

Market transformation: PVSITES is highly focused on overcoming product and stakeholde
Overview of PVSITES project products and demonstration sites