BIPVBOOST Newsletter - June 2021
In this edition of the BIPVBOOST newsletter:
  1. New BIPV Manufacturing Line at ONYX 
  2. New Public Reports on the BIPVBOOST Website
  3. The ePIZ Facade Cladding System
  4. BIPV Practical Handbook Webinar
  5. Extended Reality for BIPV
New BIPV manufacturing line at ONYX
Within the BIPVBOOST project a flexible and automated BIPV module manufacturing line has been designed, developed and finally installed by Mondragon Assembly at Onyx facilities. The development of each step of the manufacturing process of a BIPV module is addressed with this new equipment that is organized in four areas:
  1. A flexible and automated tabber for crystalline silicon cells:
One of the main characteristics of the tabber is the capability to use cells of 156,75 mm (6” cells) in 3BB and 5BB, cells of 158,75 mm in 5BB and half cells in 5BB. On the other hand, this new equipment will have the functionality of the strings with different lengths (from 600mm to 3000mm) and have different distances between the cells inside the same string (between 2mm and 200mm).
  1. The equipment to control, transport and position the strings
With this new equipment the strings manufactured on the previous stage will be picked from the tabber and positioned over the glass automatically, in the defined position. Also this equipment could perform an EL control (electro luminescence) to all the strings produced by the automated tabber.
  1. The design and development of a manual string interconnection station
This stage is based on a table adjusted to the manufacturing needs and the working capacity of the line with glass from 600mmx600mm to 3000mmx2000mm. This is achieved by making a modular conveyor. The operator is able to adjust the rail system depending on the needs of the glass size. The second part of this stage is a second conveyor with spheres that allows to make a 90º turn to bring the glass to the position of the electroluminescence (EL). The whole stage is completed with a monitor that shows the PV design in order to perform the interconnection of the strings.
  1. The quality control of the module prior to the lamination phase
The objective of this machine is to control the cells on the string of the assembled units prior to be laminated in order to avoid possible micro crack on the cells and interconnexion problems by means of electroluminescence (EL). The machine is composed by a conveyor system with a control zone, where two mobile EL cameras can detect automatically defects of 2 mm, by means of an algorithm that can reliably define these defects.
Picture of new ONYX manufacturing line described above
New back contact automated manufacturing equipment
The automated back contact manufacturing equipment allows a manufacturing optimization, changing the manual procedures for the strings build up and interconnexion to a fully automated process. For this purpose, a fully automatic welding machine with a 500 cells/h output and maximum string length of 14 to 16 with 5” back-contact solar cells has been prototyped and then tested in ONYX’s production environment. The prototype is expected to allow the fabrication of large-scale projects (over 4000 m²), within reasonable delivery times (typically 8 weeks) and target prices of 275 €/m² for 6+6 mm units. All the parts of the machine have been included following the specifications:
1.    Cell in-feed on conveyor belt with stack
2.    Pre-cut ribbon in-feed
3.    Welding belt
4.    Cell management system without direct contact
5.    Electrical and sofware diagrams are implemented
New Public Reports available for Download 
In October of last year, four new public reports were added to the BIPVBOOST website, focusing on various aspects of the project. Below readers will find a list of the reports as well as a short summary of each document. To read the public reports in full, head over to the website: Public reports - BIPV Boost
Cost-reduction roadmap for the European BIPV Sector
This report aims at highlighting all potential improvements along the BIPV value chain, among others planned in the framework of the BIPVBOOST context, as well as gathered through a thorough literature review. These improvements are described both qualitatively and quantitatively. The final target being to translate those improvements in terms of impact on the “competitiveness” metric which will constitute the main KPI and thus the comparison criteria. The impact of improvements on the end-user cost of BIPV systems and other KPIs are also evaluated.
Information modelling & management for BIPV cost reduction
This document addresses the topic of the information modeling and management to support BIPV cost-reduction, in accordance with the activities of WP6 “Digital and data-driven process for BIPV cost reduction along the value chain, from design to installation”. Therefore, the contents of this report provide the basics for the development of an optimal BIPV process that tries to include and manage efficiently all the BIPV stages and actors, also in relation to the traditional building process, by adopting a BIM-based approach and envisioning the implementation of novel BIM tools with new functionalities.
Monitoring guidelines & specific measurements & validation plan for each demo-site
This report provides a common set of monitoring guidelines and a specific measurement and validation plan for all BIPV project developments and each demo site.  To that end an individual monitoring plan for each demo site and each BIPV technology development is defined base on the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) and the previously performed pre-monitoring activities. The monitoring plan comprises of monitoring objectives, performance checking procedures, testing tasks and required equipment.
Parameterization, optimization & automation during design stage for optimizing cost-to-power ratio
This document describes a first optimization prototype designed to be added to the BIMsolar® [1] software. The goal of this optimizer is to achieve BIPV cost optimization, by performing a multi-objective optimization of both the BIPV end-user cost and the electricity cost over a period of time. 
ePIZ Facade Cladding System
Under the BIPVBOOST project, a façade cladding system named ePIZ was successfully developed and demonstrated as a multifunctional BIPV product that provides PV production, thermal insulation and acoustic insulation in one module with excellent mechanical characteristics. It consists of a composite element, produced by integrating PIZ cladding product with different photovoltaic technologies. It comes with its own specially designed profile mounting system and there exists a defined path for the electrical wiring within the system which makes the installation process quite easier. Functional prototypes of ePIZ with polycrystalline glass-glass PV laminate and CIGS PV laminate (with polymeric substrate) were prepared as shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2 respectively. ePIZ glass-glass PV technology is capable of producing of 80-90 W/m² and has a weight of 41.5 kg/m² whereas ePIZ CIGS PV technology can offer an energy production of 70-80 W/m2 and have a weight of 27 kg/m². These modules have a thermal resistance value of 2.11 m2K/W and a weighted sound reduction index of 13 dB.
(Left) ePIZ glass-glass PV prototypes on wall in Morbegno, Italy 
(Right) ePIZ CIGS prototypes mounted on the wall in Morbegno, Italy
In order to validate the correct functioning, reliability and durability of these prototypes, a comprehensive testing campaign was carried out by SUPSI. These tests were selected and, in some cases, slightly modified to better obtain the desired data from the sequence of IEC 61730. Test on both ePIZ prototypes had some differences due to different active parts used. According to IEC, no failure occurred and prototypes were classified safe to use. These prototypes will be validated further at TRL6/7 in the next stages of the project.
Mechanical load test on ePIZ glass-glass prototype
Along with the development and optimization of ePIZ technology, one of the main objectives of the BIPVBOOST project was to achieve a target cost of ePIZ system comparable to the cost of other conventional cladding systems available in the market. Cost reduction targets were fixed for ePIZ glass glass PV system at the beginning of the project. It was planned to achieve a 29% reduction in the cost of the BIPV system during the four years of the project. With all the improvements made in the design and the production process during the first two years of the BIPVBOOST project, we were able to achieve 25% reduction in production cost of the BIPV system, hence we achieved 86% of our cost target in 2020. No cost targets were fixed for ePIZ CIGS system.
UV Preconditioning test on ePIZ Prototypes
BIPV Practical Handbook Webinar
On January 28th 2021, BIPVBOOST partners SUPSI and Becquerel Institute led a wide-reaching webinar based on their BIPV 2020 Status Report & Practical Handbook. Hosted by the European Copper Institute, the webinar covered a wide range of topics including the history, products, market, and value chains associated with BIPV. To watch the webinar and read the handbook, click the button below. 
Extended Reality for BIPV
Virtual Reality and PV design. Source: Gonzalez Lopez et al. (2019). 
Extended Reality is a broad concept that embrace a wide range of different technologies which allow the user being immersed in digital environments or enabling the user to view or interact with simulated objects in a real environment. In the building process, XR technologies can be adopted in different stages with specific aims and goals. For instance, in the design stage XR can improve the perception of simulated digital object, in the construction stage, workers can better understand their tasks and make the construction process more effective and safe. XR technologies have the potential to transform the building sector by improving processes, drive down costs and enhance quality of realized buildings. In the PV sector, XR seems promising for enabling quick preliminary PV design, investigating the aesthetical impact of PV solution, facilitating maintenance operations.

Such technological innovations could represent an opportunity also for BIPV. Indeed, XR can be adopted by architects and designers to go beyond rendering images to involve clients and building owners in a digital experience that give them the perception of the BIPV building or for enabling remote visits to BIPV buildings. Moreover, BIPV installers and technicians through XR can be supported in their task to improve efficiency of their operation and achieve higher and higher quality of the BIPV plant. Several other examples could be provided and more and more new approaches can be developed thanks to the potential offered by XR technologies.

Which are your expectations from Extended Reality for BIPV?

BIPVBOOST and SUPSI invite you to answer a 10 minutes’ survey about your expectations and benefits from XR for the BIPV conceptual design stage.
The following questionnaire is supported by the BIPVBOOST project (grant agreement N° 817991) and the European Union.
Take the survey
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© Members of the BIPVBOOST Consortium
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 817991
Published by WIP - Renewable Energies on behalf of the BIPVBOOST consortium.

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