Solar Energy, Vol.188, 1118-1133, 2019
Is it time to embrace building integrated Photovoltaics? A review with particular focus on Australia
Buildings consume a large quantity of energy. In May 2010, the European Union (EU) reported that around 40% of their energy consumption was related to building sectors, which is similar to the proportion of 39% in the United States. In Australia, buildings count 20% of its total energy consumption. Experts across the globe have been working in the development of new technologies, which not only reduce the building energy consumption but also harness energy from renewable sources. Building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system is one of the most popular techniques towards constructing a net-zero energy building through the utilisation of solar energy. In this review, we focus on the BIPV applications in Australia, where BIPV has not been prevailed as widely as might be expected despite the high solar irradiation in the country. This paper discusses recent advancements in BIPV systems and challenges that Australia is facing in order to adopt this technology. In addition, the current carbon emission issues in Australia are presented to build awareness among people, which will contribute towards adopting this technology. A range of experimental and numerical studies have been reviewed to identify the effectiveness of BIPV on building performances. This study also reports on the sustainability and economic feasibility of BIPV systems in terms of energy payback time and economical payback time, respectively. Based on this review, it is argued that BIPV is technically and economically feasible for Australia and its implementation might be started with solar roof tiles.