Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) in Malaysia
Advantages of building-integrated photovoltaics
BIPV makes it possible to meet the energy demand in buildings directly at the source through renewable energies. In addition, integrating solar energy into building envelopes has further advantages:
- No additional space for photovoltaic modules is required, as the building envelope itself provides the surface area for generating The building can provide system services for the building envelopes.
- The building can provide system services for the entire energy system.
- Compared with rooftop systems, integrating PV solar modules into the building envelope does not require secondary investments for The building can provide system services for the entire energy system.
- Integrating solar energy systems into buildings is a necessary measure for achieving high energy efficiency standards in buildings.
BIPV modules use crystalline silicon-based solar cells or thin-film technologies such as amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium selenide. Most technologies can achieve varying degrees of transparency by spacing the opaque solar cells or making the thin film layer transparent.
BIPV modules replace traditional building envelope materials and generate electricity at the same time. By avoiding the cost of traditional building materials, the lifecycle cost of a PV system is greatly increased.
BIPV systems typically consist of the following components.
Charge controllers are used in some systems to regulate the power to and from the energy storage bank.
Energy storage systems, consist of a utility grid or multiple batteries in a utility interaction system.
Power conversion equipment - in particular, inverters for converting the DC output of BIPV modules to AC power compatible with the utility grid.
Standby power in a stand-alone system (optional) - usually a diesel generator.
Support and installation of hardware, wiring, and safety disconnects.
Opportunities for developing BIPV in Malaysia:
- Favourable policies provide major impetus for developing BIPV
- Strong PV industry chains
- International collaborations and exchanges on China's BIPV industry
Challenges for developing BIPV in China:
- Rapid decline in PV subsidies with adverse consequences for the development of the entire PV industry, including BIPV
- Lack of professional energy design and consulting teams with relevant experience
- Insufficient grid connections
- Limited product range, few market opportunities, relatively high investments
With its year-round sunshine and rapidly developing economy, Malaysia is looking to increase its use of solar energy, particularly in urban areas where land is scarce and expensive. To this end it recently launched the Malaysia Building Integrated Photovoltaic project. Ahmad Hadri Haris, Vincent Tan, Azah Ahmad, Wei-Nee Chen and Daniel Ruoss give a review of the programme along with the history, and the future, of grid-connected BIPV systems in Malaysia.
Is solar energy easy to combine with other forms of energy?
If you don't produce enough solar energy to meet your own energy consumption, you can use fossil fuels to make up for the rest (unless, of course, you buy green energy from your energy supplier). The costs for this energy are on your energy bill.
If I get a fire from my solar panels, what should I do? Is the installer liable?
The chance that a fire will start due to a solar power system is very small (0.0023%). Who can be held liable in such a case differs per situation. If it turns out that the installer has been negligent in the installation of the solar panels, the installer is liable. If you have solar panels installed, it is wise to take out building insurance.
Can the roof of my house collapse by installing a solar energy installation?
Before you decide to have a solar energy installation installed, it is wise to have a constructor assess whether your roof is strong enough to install a solar energy installation.
What happens if I generate more solar power than I use?
If you generate more than you consume, you can feed it back to the electricity grid, for which you receive a compensation. This makes the netting arrangement in the Netherlands possible.
Nonetheless, the main barrier to widespread PV application is the relatively high capital investment required. This is not helped by the miniscule local PV market and the fact that the PV modules have to be imported. On the other hand, the market will not develop while the technology cost is still expensive. Further to this, the PV industry in Malaysia has additional challenges that it needs to address: lack of awareness and understanding of PV technology ignorance of BIPV added values adverse public perception on PV technology (due to poor image of stand-alone PV systems) highly subsidized tariff for conventional electricity.
On the global front, Malaysia intends to become part of the ever growing worldwide BIPV markets. Regionally, Malaysia hopes to support other ASEAN countries in developing this new market. Malaysia has a great opportunity to chart the growth of a local BIPV industry without the possibility of a ‘start and stop’ situation encountered by many countries. Hence, Malaysians and the international communities eagerly anticipate Malaysia to create a strong mass urban BIPV market, and an expectation for MBIPV Project to succeed.
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