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

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - PVSITES (Building-integrated photovoltaic technologies and systems for large-scale market deployment)

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2020-06-30

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.

In order to achieve this significant outcome, PVSITES project envisaged a series of economic, social, technical objectives, whose achievement would lead BIPV technology to a better market conditions and higher deployment. After four and a half years of intense work, the consortium is proud to share that most of these objectives have been reached and successful implementation of some of the products have been a reality even before the project ended.

MARKET & BUSINESS: to overcome BIPV market barriers with an ambitious set of BIPV generation and management solutions and (2) to take EU industrial companies to a leading position in the BIPV market.
ECONOMIC: Compliance with strict cost-effectiveness and performance targets.
TECHNICAL: to demonstrate (from TRL 5 to TRL6, 7) a wide portfolio of BIPV solutions based on (1) crystalline silicon (2)flexible CIGS thin film (3) grid interface solutions, (4) advanced building energy management system (5) SW tool to simulate BIPV components and building energy performance.
DEMONSTRATION: BIPV systems and related BIPV business models in 7 representative buildings across Europe plus experimental buildings and outdoor test benches, covering different climates, building uses, architectural implementations and energy management models.
ENVIRONMENTAL: A LCA analysis was carried out at product level by technology, specifically for crystalline Si and CIGS modules.
SOCIAL: increasing the awareness and involvement within the whole social & industrial chain.
The work performed during the whole project has progressed in accordance with the Grant Agreement and practically every objective and expected result have been accomplished in time. In summary:

(1) 26 Exploitable Results were identified and deeply analysed to improve the value proposition. An exploitation and commercialization plan has been developed for each ER including ad-hoc market analysis, IP analysis, potential agreements, marketing plan. As a result, 6 successful commercialisations of PVSITES products by ONYX and FLISOM during the projec
(2) 3 innovative business models were developed based on the latest market trends for supporting BIPV market uptake.
(3) Elaboration of the PVSITES product portfolio in (1) pdf catalogue and (2) An e-catalogue within BIMsolar® web platform.
(4) Development of new see-thru and opaque glass-glass c-Si based BIPV products, with enhanced aesthetical appearance,
(5) Successful indoor and outdoor testing of PVSITES c-Si and CIGS BIPV modules,
(6) Completion of a family of 5 new BIPV CIGS products by FLISOM (CIGS on metal).
(7) Validation and fully characterization of PV inverters:10 kW storage inverter (TECNALIA) and SiC based inverter prototype (CEA)
(8) Demonstration of innovative energy management (EMS) strategies based on forecasted energy production and consumption.
(9) Development of a simulation tool for sizing fittingly PV storage systems and estimating their ROI. This tool has been adapted and transferred to Spanish companies in 2020.
(10) Development of a BIPV generation forecasting tool (TECNALIA). It has been licensed to a solar digital start-up in 2020.
(11) Precommercial version of PVSITES SW webServices platform launched (BIMSOLAR®), which represents an integrated tool for BIPV and building energy performance simulation.
(12) Design, manufacturing of prototypes, installation, commissioning, permitting and monitoring of the seven building installations (5 real buildings + 2 carports) have been completed.
(13) Evaluation of environmental impact on BIPV modules and systems through the LCA. For the majority of the environmental impacts categories, results show that the CIGS technology have lower impacts than the c-Silicon technology.

The partners have been also very active in terms of dissemination and communication activities, achieving remarkable results.
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.
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.
BIPV software tool: A unique software tool for the coupled simulation of BIPV elements and building energy performance has been developed, tested and validated, with simulation capabilities for different architectural implementations and PV technologies.
Grid interface technologies:
• 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)
• Novel low cost and reliable 24-hours-ahead forecasting tools
• Integration of active load management tools into building energy management system

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

Replicability: The BIPV products proposed are conceived as a clear and holistic answer to market demands, combining flexibility of design with standardization in order to promote market replication.
Socioeconomics: The project has successfully contributed to strengthening the European BIPV and construction industries, through an increase in installed capacity and as a consequence a direct and indirect job creation.
Environmental: Within PVSITES, several ways have been identified to foster the decrease of EPBT and minimize environmental impact through the systems complete life-cycle: Bringing down costs of CIGS and c-Si technologies, Reducing the amount of materials used in the manufacturing of CIGS modules and increasing achieved efficiencies, increasing also the reliability and lifetime..
Policy: PVSITES objectives and final results are fully aligned with the most important policies and initiatives at EU level: the EPBD and its amendment in 2018; the SET Plan and the visions the Clean Energy Transition Programme (CETP); the European Energy Research Area (EERA PV) and the IEA-PVPS task 15 on BIPV.