SKYCO Skylights has made it their mission to bring more viability to Building Applied Photovoltaics by taking the concept one step further with Building Integrated Photovoltaic or BIPV.
BIPV is solar power technology integrated into the building’s features. For example, this summer Apple unveiled their flagship store in Union Square. To the lay person walking the roof they would think they are walking on normal roofing tiles. SKYCO Skylights was able to integrate the roofing structure with photovoltaic tiles. These tiles are strong enough that Apple could feasibly land a helicopter on the roof without blemishing the solar tiles.
The glass in a skylight is designed to collect anywhere from 30-70 percent of the sunlight for power generation, the remainder of sunlight, not converted to power, is visible light passing through the skylight. Photovoltaic glass looks and acts like a tinted skylight.
By swapping traditional glass with photovoltaic glass, building owners are able to capitalize on the 30 percent federal credits (in addition to state credits). In the end, the net investment is equal or less than the investment in a traditional skylight, except BIPV skylights will generate power ultimately adding to return of investment.
There are several reasons why brands like Apple are adopting this technology. Apple has committed to building all its new retail stores with 100 percent renewable energy. The challenge for them is maintaining the architectural aesthetics individuals come to expect in an Apple building. BIPV helps achieve their power goals while enhancing the building’s appearance. The brand-ability behind this technology is plus.
Manufacturers like, SKYCO Skylights, have invested time and resources to develop and tune BIPV systems. Building owners now have another option to black solar panels.