In the future, we won't install solar panels on the rooftops to power buildings – they will become energy-generating devices themselves. The building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) technology aims to use solar elements as construction parts that will become power suppliers for a future office or a house. All in all, the BIPV technology lets the owner save up on electric power costs and later on the cost of solar panel mounting systems.
It's not about replacing the walls and windows with panels and creating "working boxes", though. Solar elements are to be integrated naturally without affecting the way people work and live. For example, photovoltaic glass looks like a normal one, but at the same time it collects all the energy coming through it from the sun.
Although the BIPV technology dates back to the 1970s, it didn't break out until quite recently: solar elements have become more accessible, efficient and widespread. Following the trend, some office owners start to integrate photovoltaic elements into their already existing buildings. This is called building-applied photovoltaics. Making a building with the most powerful BIPV solar panel system even became a competition among entrepreneurs. Obviously, the greener your business is, the better its image. It appears that a shipyard in eastern China
owned by Asia Clean Capital (ACC) holds the trophy with its 19MW installation.