A critical appraisal of the added value of BiPV in atria

Bahaj, A.S., James, P.A.B. and Jentsch, M.F. (2006) A critical appraisal of the added value of BiPV in atria. In, Proceedings 2nd International Conference of Renewable Energy in Maritime Island Climates (REMIC 2). , REMIC, 273-278.


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Building integration of photovoltaics (PV) has long been acknowledged as a key application for PV in developed countries. The avoided use of comparably priced alternatives such as polished stone in commercial facades enables PV to be applied often at no additional cost. The use of semi-transparent PV modules within commercial atria represents an interesting application in this respect. However, compared to standard double glazing an element incorporating mono-crystalline PV cells in a glass-glass construction comes at a cost premium. To justify such an application there must be significant added value in the PV solution. This paper critically appraises a semi-transparent PV atrium which has been used to link two buildings at Southampton University. The PV atrium encloses the main campus reception desk and performs multiple functions, which have direct and indirect benefits for the building users and the wider University: electricity generation, solar protection, environmental and technology statements for the building and the University, enhanced comfort and prestige of the office workspace. A comparison of alternative shading solutions for the atrium combined with evaluation of user’s perception of the building / atrium and its impact on their personal workspace has been undertaken. It is shown that PV in commercial atria does not always have to be considered as a ‘luxury’ option and with appropriate consideration of these added value factors, its selection justified.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 1903605296 (paperback)
Subjects: T Technology
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Civil Engineering and the Environment
ePrint ID: 53815
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
April 2006Published
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:32
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/53815

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