What is the 'BIPV Enabler" and what does it mean for the solar industry?



Peter Leeson, Director of Leeson Group interviewed Rebecca Yang who is leading a research laboratory group on solar energy applications at RMIT School of Property, Construction and Management.


Current Research Project:


Rebecca presents an outline of their current research project in which a group of 20 people including academic staff, research students/assistants are working on the application of distributed solar energy technology into buildings and looking towards its urban applications, with the goal of commercialising their work. Through extensive market analysis, the research group have decided that with funding support they will develop a BIPV design software which they have named the ‘BIPV enabler’.


Aim Of The Research:


This research targets the conceptual building design stage, with the aim to develop a global BIPV product database. Enabling end-users such as building professionals and BIPV manufacturers to find the best product and design value solution for any individual building with incorporation of location and the design.


Considering architect design requirements, the software will also provide energy yield calculations, indicative costings and least cost-benefits. In addition, the products will be aligned with Australian building standards dependent on the class and regulations related to the BIPV application. The target is to cover all BIPV applications.


Finalisation Of The Project:


With the project qualified for ARENA and RMIT funding, it began January this year and is expected to be completed by March 2021. The research group is working with a group of industry partners which hopefully by the end of this year, will launch some of their products that are currently being developed.


Working Group For BIPV:


The International Energy Agency, PVPS Task 15 is a working group specifically for BIPV. Around 60 experts globally from more than 20 countries are part of this group, with the idea to drive BIPV uptake globally. As the representative in Australia within that group, Rebecca leads some of the sub-tasks.




Leeson Group are the Australian leader in BIPV as their speciality, having recently designed and installed a BIPV Façade in Richmond, Victoria on a 5 story apartment building. They install BIPV roofs nationally and are currently developing a new solar tile to hit the market in 2021. Peter expresses his excitement for Rebecca Yang's progress, saying “It's really exciting to get a product like this come to the market”.


For further information on the development of the 'BIPV Enabler' you can visit:

https://www.rmit.edu.au/about/schools-colleges/property-construction-and-project-management/research/research-centres-and-groups/solar-energy-application-laboratory

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