Conventional distributed photovoltaic systems are confined to rooftops, requiring additional hardware to be mounted on existing building materials. Not only does this increase the cost of systems, but it also results in an unaesthetic structure sitting above a house's roof line or is unable to utilize the larger facade area of tall commercial buildings. Numerous companies have attempted to address these problems by presenting a plethora of building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems. Despite the attention, the BIPV market has remained a relatively niche market with most activity focused in Europe. There has yet to emerge a compelling product to prompt a convergence of the solar and construction industries. We examine multiple photovoltaic technology solutions that can be applied to roofs, facades, and windows, identifying what is most likely to become economically competitive and what type of systems will appears.
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