Photovoltaics in positive energy buildings

University essay from KTH/Tillämpad termodynamik och kylteknik


This paper deals with the usage of photovoltaics in positive energy buildings. The European Union published in 2010 a directive about the energy performance of buildings in which article 9 states that all member States shall ensure that by the end of 2020 all new buildings should be “nearly zero-energy” buildings (by the end of 2018 for public buildings). This kind of nearly zero-energy buildings is starting to develop in France under the name “BEPOS” (which stands for POSitive Energy Building, in French), and this is the name that will be used in this document. 288 projects have been certified “BEPOS” as of 2012, according to the ADEME which published a map of all the BEPOS buildings in France (the ADEME is a French agency for the environment and the energy utilization, which is a major actor in the French energy policy, often deciding where to allocate funds).

To be a BEPOS, these buildings need to produce electricity on site and photovoltaics are often considered as one of the most mature and competitive technology to do so, also the most used. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that photovoltaics are an economically viable means to reach the BEPOS quality label, and to provide data to quantify the cost and performance of a photovoltaic system. To achieve that, the technological and market conditions of photovoltaics in France are reviewed, and techno-economic calculations are made using data provided by solar and construction companies.

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