BIPV: Living up to expectations

Published: February 1, 2010

By Daniel Montoro, Scientific Officer, EPIA

Building integrated PV | Despite plenty of hype, BIPV has remained a niche segment in the solar business, held back by a combination of high costs and low efficiencies. But as Ben Willis hears, the high-profile entry of Tesla on to the BIPV scene could herald the start of a new era for the sector.

In late October, with all the usual fanfare that accompanies an Elon Musk announcement, the CEO of EV and battery storage manufacturer, Tesla, took to the stage to lift the lid on a heavily trailed new product. Most of Musk’s recent utterances on energy have been about storage, particularly Tesla’s high-profile foray into the world of stationary storage through its Powerwall battery system. But this was something a bit different – a buildingintegrated PV (BIPV) product designed to emulate various kinds of roofing tile and eliminate the need for clunky conventional roof-mounted modules once and for all.

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