6. 1 PV on/in Buildings, Infrastructure, Landscape, Water and Nature
Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV), Facade, Building Integration
Summary / Abstract:
In building-integrated photovoltaics or BIPV, the solar cell module not only functions as energy source, but also acts as a structural element of the building. Curtain wall elements are abundantly applied in the construction sector and are particularly suitable for BIPV applications. Unfortunately, electrical cables must connect the outside solar module to the inside inverter, breaking the thermal envelope of the building. This creates a number of problems such as the creation of thermal bridges, condensation and water ingress. By means of inductive wireless power transfer, the energy from the solar module can be transferred over the insulation to the inverter, without breaking the thermal envelope. In this work, we present a wireless prototype BIPV system, designed for curtain wall elements, that applies inductive wireless power transfer. Measurements show that the system performs adequate for variable input power conditions, a prerequisite considering irregular solar radiation. Among others, we demonstrate experimentally that having a higher load resistance increases the voltage gain, while not significantly decreasing efficiency when operating at the optimal frequency. This can reduce stress on the voltage converters.