Goal of the project

The Maia Municipality, within the scope of the SPARCS project, intends to implement a Building Integrated PV (BIPV) demo-site in Maia City Hall, Paços do Concelho. The purpose of the demonstrator is to study the viability of BIPV technology in existing buildings, creating the possibility to replicate the solution at a large scale. Thus, the aim of this project is to install PV film on the existing windows, without having to replace any elements its facade structure.

 

System specifications

The installed BIPV on the façade of the Pacos do Concelho Building could have the following specifications:

  • Transparent and flexible PV cells
  • “Peel and stick” application mode
  • CdTe (Cadmium Telluride) thin-film solar cells
  • Photovoltaic Glass from Amorphous Silicon
  • Doubled-skin PV panels

 

Mandatory requirements

Several factors need to be into consideration regarding the technology for the demonstrator, as for example:

  • Type of window – The building incorporates a total of 36 fixed windows on the South facade, with single glazing and metal frame. All other facades are almost entirely shaded by the adjacent buildings. Therefore, the study for the demonstrator must be conducted considering only the windows on the South façade of the building. The fixed windows (blue) have 2.00 m of length per 1.70 m of height and the rotary windows (yellow) have 0.60 m per 2.15 m. The number of intervened windows will be determined by the investment cost.
  • Architectural constraints – Maia city hall is an emblematic building, from the 80s decade, where the architectural component need to be taken into account. Thus, any solution adopted must assure the harmonicity of the elements. Between others, the frame and the glazing colour are key components to minimize the visual impact of the demonstrator. As a demonstrator of a new technology solution and being a cultural heritage of the city, this building cannot have a technology that would significantly alter the exterior aspect of this heritage building, especially in its architectural and aesthetic value.
  • Assembly equipment – In order to transport the energy, each solar cell requires cable work from the production to the delivery point. Thus, when considering the entire installation and the dimension of the space, the proposed solution must consider the integration of all components into the building.
  • Mechanical Resistance and Stability: The BIPV shall comply with the local regulations on load and impact resistance for building facades. Similarly, to perform their protective function, photovoltaic sheets must remain well adhered, crack free, and must not erode, despite long-term exposure to harsh environmental stressors such as ultraviolet (UV) radiation, temperature (extreme and cyclic), and moisture.
  • Impact on natural lighting – The main typology in Paços do Concelho is office rooms where light is essential to carry out the work. As traditional solar cells are either coloured blue or grey, there’s a substantial part of the window that will be covered, preventing the visible light to pass through. The solution implemented needs to overcome this barrier, ensuring similar conditions of natural lighting. If artificial lighting is required to maintain the normal work conditions the demonstrator might have a negative impact, making the BIPV solution unattractive for this case. The Luminous transmission of the PV panels must be analysed.
  • Maintenance – It is essential to carry out regular inspections to ensure the maximum production over the years. The periodic control makes it possible to detect any failure on the equipment, material fatigue, as well as other situations that may lower the system performance. In this way, the systems must be covered by a maintenance plan. In addition, reports must be elaborated describing the conditions of the production unity before the intervention, the actions performed and, in cases where it wasn´t possible to immediately restore its normal operation, the proposed actions considered appropriate.
  • Monitoring and measuring – Per installation must be installed a production meter, equipped with a GSM modem. The analyzers must be able to store values for the minimum of one day, in case of communication failures.
  • Digitalization – It´s essential to create a communication gateway, so all the data collected can be presented in a visual way.
  • System installation – The Contractor will undertake the installation, configuration, and commissioning of all the equipment and software of the project.
  • Standards compliance – Environment, Health and Safety compliant with RoHS, OHSAS 18001:2007, or REACH SVHC-201.