Solar energy has massive potential to encounter the majority of present world energy demand by effective integration with local building components. One of the most promising technologies is building integrated solar thermal (BIST) technology. For more than 30 years, there have been strong efforts to accelerate the deployment of solar electric systems by developing photovoltaic (PV) products that are fully integrated with building materials. Installations of solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies on building rooftops are common in some parts of the world. The vast majority of these systems are composed of modules that are mounted off the surfaces of roofs using different types of racking hardware. System designs are most influenced by PV performance considerations, and aesthetics are often secondary. But growing consumer interest in distributed PV technologies and industry competition to reduce installation costs are stimulating the development of multifunctional PV products that are integrated with building materials. Interest in the building integration of photovoltaics, where the PV elements actually become an integral part of the building, often serving as the exterior weather skin, is growing worldwide. PV specialists and innovative designers in Europe, Japan, and the U.S. are now exploring creative ways of incorporating solar electricity into their work. A whole new vernacular of Solar Electric Architecture is beginning to emerge.
This book integrates state-of-art techniques and trends for building and optimizing structures with integrated solar energy systems. It provides an emphasis of existing and upcoming technologies, discussing specific technologies used in buildings and the nature of both technical and visual integration, and presents a number of case studies showing effective systems. It presents insights on the best techniques to site a solar structure considering exposure, elevation, slope, clearance, wind protection, etc. The compilation work discusses the various approaches in building integration of solar systems, and presents a number of successful examples. It also presents some of the work being done on improving the design processes to account for the need for a holistic approach to solar building design. The contributions are from academics, industry and architects, provides readers a holistic approach of this field as well as examples of best practice and design approaches that can be pursued in future design projects.