solarfassade.info - portal for building integrated photovoltaics

Simulation of various PV façades

How do various façades differ in terms of their energy behaviour? What effects do different (photovoltaic) façades have on a building’s heating and cooling requirement? What power yields can be expected?


In order to answer these questions, four types of façade were defined:

  • Conventional façade 
natural stone façade with which all other types of façade are compared in terms of energy
  • Photovoltaic (PV) façade
polycrystalline modules as part of the building envelope
  • Sunshading façade PV module
as sunshade element
  • PV double façade
Figure 1: Natural stone façade, Mannheim

Source: mannheim_2009

Figure 2: PV façade with green solar cells, Tübingen gym

Source: Björn Appel

Figure 3: PV façade Tübingen, detail

Source: Björn Appel

For these façade types, simulations were carried out for the following building parameters:
  • Cooling energy demand How much energy (current) is required to limit room temperature of the building to a maximum of 26 °C during the hot months?
  • Heat demand The amount of heating energy required to achieve a setpoint indoor temperature of 22 °C.
  • Energy yield Different energy yields of the different types of façade depending on the inclination of the modules, module technology, and the chosen transparency.
  • Payback A comparison of investment costs, energy costs and yields of the defined façade types.

Last page update: 25.01.2011