Comparison of energy performance between PV double skin facades and PV insulating glass units

Meng Wang, Jinqing Peng, Nianping Li, Hongxing Yang, Chunlei Wang, Xue Li, Tao Lu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

142 Citations (Scopus)


� 2017 Elsevier Ltd Building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) windows provide the benefits of generating electricity, reducing building cooling and heating energy consumption, and efficiently utilizing daylight simultaneously. In this paper, the overall energy performance of a PV double skin fa�ade (PV-DSF) and a PV insulating glass unit (PV-IGU) is studied through comparative experiments on a test rig in Hong Kong. The PV-DSF means ventilated PV-DSF by default, if not special mentioned. It is found that the average solar heat gain coefficients (SHGCs) of the PV-DSF and the PV-IGU are 0.152 and 0.238, while the U-values are 2.535 W/m2K and 2.281 W/m2K. The results indicate that the PV-DSF has better performance than PV-IGU in reducing solar heat gains, while it has worse performance regarding thermal insulation. With a lower PV module temperature, the energy conversion efficiency of PV-DSF is 1.8% better than PV-IGU. Simulation models for the PV-DSF and the PV-IGU are developed and validated against experimental data. Using the validated models, the overall energy performances of PV-DSF and PV-IGU in five different climates of China are investigated. The results show that the average energy saving potential of the PV-DSF and the PV-IGU are 28.4% and 30%, respectively, compared to the commonly used insulating glass window in five different climates. On average, the performance of PV-IGU was 2% better performance than the ventilated PV-DSF in the five representative cities. However, if an appropriate ventilation control scheme was adopted, PV-DSF can have a much better performance than the PV-IGU. The models developed in this study can be used for selecting suitable PV windows in the design process, and the results achieved can be used as a guideline for utilizing PV windows in different climates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-160
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Building energy efficiency
  • Building integrated photovoltaics
  • PV double skin fa�ade
  • PV insulating glass unit
  • Semi-transparent photovoltaics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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