PV can cover almost half of typical office buildings’ electricity demand

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From pv magazine International

How much of the electricity needs of an office building can be met with a photovoltaic system installed on-site? A group of researchers at the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW), in Germany, is now seeking to give an answer to this question by using its own data, coming from a PV facade and a rooftop array based on CIGS module that are installed on its building in Stuttgart.

The scientists transferred the yield data into a model and found that the electricity from the roof and facade modules can cover almost 40% of the total requirements of a standard office building, assuming that no battery storage is installed.

The researchers based their modeling on a typical five-floor administrative building. Assuming that a quarter of the entire facade and 30% of the roof area are covered with photovoltaics, the PV system should have an installed power of 131 kW and generate around 115,000 kWh of electricity per year.

“The facades alone provided 29% of the electricity consumed over a period of one year,” explained Dieter Geyer, project manager at ZSW. Around 80% of the generated solar power could be used for this purpose, the rest of the system can be fed into the power grid. “The combination of photovoltaics on the facade and on the roof even increased the self-sufficiency share to 39%,” says Geyer, adding that about 58% of the produced solar power can be used locally.

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