Energy and cost analysis of semi-transparent photovoltaic in office buildings

Danny H.W. Li, Tony N.T. Lam, Wai Hung Chan, Ada H.L. Mak

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

185 Citations (Scopus)


Solar energy conversion systems and daylighting schemes are important building energy strategies to produce clean energy, reduce the peak electrical and cooling demands and save the building electricity expenditures. A semi-transparent photovoltaic (PV) is a building component generating electricity via PV modules and allowing daylight entering into the interior spaces to facilitate daylighting designs. This paper studies the thermal and visual properties, energy performance and financial issue of such solar facades. Data measurements including solar irradiance, daylight illuminance and output power for a semi-transparent PV panel were undertaken. Using the recorded results, essential parameters pertaining to the power generation, thermal and optical characteristics of the PV system were determined. Case studies based on a generic reference office building were conducted to elaborate the energy and cooling requirements, and the cost implications when the PV facades together with the daylight-linked lighting controls were being used. The findings showed that such an integrated system could produce electricity and cut down electric lighting and cooling energy requirements to benefit the environmental, energy and economic aspects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-729
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Energy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Daylight illuminance
  • Energy consumption
  • Life cycle cost analysis
  • Semi-transparent photovoltaic
  • Solar irradiance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • General Energy
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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