A review of designs and performance of façade-based building integrated photovoltaic-thermal (BIPVT) systems

Guoqing Yu, Hongxing Yang, Zhenye Yan, Mark Kyeredey Ansah

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


A façade-based building integrated photovoltaic-thermal (BIPVT) system combines solar photovoltaics (PV) and solar collectors for integration with building façades to generate electricity and produce thermal energy. As a result, solar energy efficiency can be increased significantly while heating/cooling load of buildings can be reduced. Thus, BIPVT application provide a promising method to significantly reduce building energy consumption for developing low-energy or even zero-energy buildings. This paper presents a review on BIPVT development and focuses on the designs of integrated solar systems with building façades and its influence on electricity generation, thermal performance of PV cells, and energy consumption of buildings for space heating and cooling. Façade-based BIPVT systems are first classified into 7 types: cooling of PV by air, space heating, ventilation, water heating, PV-PCM, BIPVT with heat pump and photovoltaic thermoelectric wall according to the uses of the thermal energy from the claddings. The electrical output, thermal performance and impacts on building's heating/cooling load are then comprehensively reviewed for various typical and novel designs developed globally over the past two decades. The advantages and disadvantages of various designs are discussed. Future research directions are also outlined. The results of this review are useful for researchers and engineers to select appropriate BIPVT designs for renewable energy application in buildings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116081
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2021


  • Design
  • Façade
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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