Solar PV presents a great architectural appeal and hence any commercial building developers and architect explore various ways to integrate solar pv in to building facade. Integrating solar pv in to building facade require a detailed planning of structure frames, glazing system(made of frame-less pv modules) and electrical wiring etc.There are two ways to installed PV modules in building facade which include pressure plate mounting and fixing through structural silicon glazing. Through pressure plate the PV modules are fitted from the front by a plate with in excluded cover and a cap. In case of silicon glues the modules are fix on a steal or aluminium frame by application of silicon glue on the edges of the PV module. Pressure plate method is more rabbets and stronger however the mullions cap lead to adverse shadowing on PV modules.
Application of PV modules require a detailed planning for wiring management. It is preferable to use micro inverter or string inverters on PV facade applications so that the shading losses are minimum. The aluminium frame should be selected in such a way that the DC cables can pass through the aluminium section itself. The PV modules should be installed only on the south facing facade for better utilization of sun light. In order to use sun light inside the building it is advisable to use light diffusing modules so that part of sun light can pass through the PV facade. In this case PV modules act as semitransparent facade. It is advisable to use existing aluminium mounting frames which are use for building facade so that the same system can be adopted to integrate PV modules without additional cost.
Article By: Dr. Sanjay Vashishtha & Kapil Dev Sharma