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Application of photovoltaics in the built environment

The attention for aesthetically pleasing solutions for solar energy incorporated in the envelope skin of buildings like roofs, skylights and facades is increasing very fast. Photovoltaic elements are already replacing conventional building materials, but the road towards energy neutral and even energy positive buildings is still long and challenging. To get a better view on this topic and share the newest insights, TMC Renewables in collaboration with Solliance and the Solar Energy Application Centre (SEAC), organised an inspiring workshop on the application of photovoltaics (PV’s) in the built environment.

On June 23, around 160 guests gathered at the Solliance building located at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven to join the workshop. The guests were TMC Employeneurs, PV experts, representatives of the building industry, architects, and even an international delegation of IEA PVPS Task 15. The event started with a brief introduction of Huib van den Heuvel, director of Solliance and Ronald van Gerwen, managing director of TMC South. In their introduction they highlighted the collaboration between TMC, Solliance and SEAC and the high interest in the fast changing market of PV. After this introduction, four renowned speakers of the PV work field presented their professional view on the future developments and challenges of PV in the built environment. Because of the large attendance, all presentations were given twice in two separate auditoria.

Building-integrated photovoltaics

The first presentation was held by Wiep Folkerts, director of SEAC. In his presentation Wiep highlighted the success factors and challenges for the building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) from a market perspective. He gave a clear insight of the BIPV market, which is mainly pulled forward by policies on energy performance of building. Also he highlighted important product-market opportunities based on several studies. After this, Gerard de Leede, CTO of Heijmans, presented the BIPV challenges for a large contractor and shared information about technical, social, business and political aspects of BIPV acceptance. Like Gerard explained: ‘The building industry is in a transition phase, where the residential segment is picking up. With additional promotion among advisors and architects and perhaps fiscal measures, we can help to make BIPV a success in the Netherlands in a complex market.’

BIPV commodity product

Simultaneously in the other auditorium, Huib presented his view on BIPV and the position, which Solliance can take up in the further rollout of BIPV by manufacturing process support. He identified 5 critical success factors: robust technology, acceptable cost, good looks, government policies and entrepreneurship. After this Paul de Jong, co-founder of SOLINSO, a start-up and developer of solar integrated solutions, introduced a new BIPV commodity product called “Mystiek”. ‘During the past year, the SOLINSO team has developed a BIPV roof element that combines solar energy generation with good aesthetics and low installation costs. Combining this technology, aesthetics and cost efficiency, we developed the new BIPV product “Mystiek”.’

Successful TMC Renewables workshop

TMC Employeneur Jan Gilot, one of the initiators of the workshop, called the event a “big success”. ‘We were overwhelmed by the number of interested people who visited the workshop,’ Jan says. ‘I believe the success of this event is due to the topicality of BIPV and the collaboration between Solliance, SEAC and TMC. Together we have reached a large group of interested people. With TMC Renewables we hope to organise more successful events this year, in which thought-provoking topics in the area of renewable energy will be presented and discussed.’

The events in 2015 are open for all. Please register for an event by sending a message to

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