Building-Integrated Photovoltaic Designs for Commercial and Institutional Structures

Photovoltaic cell technologies
PV technology utilizes the abundant solar radiation and converts it into electrical energy with
minimum impact to the environment. Generally, PV technologies are classified into crystalline
silicon and thin-film technologies as shown in Figure 2.3.
Figure 2.3 – PV technology family tree
Source: (Jelle, et al., 2012)
With the invention of solar cell in 1954, silicon (Si) a semiconductor material most common use
in PV technologies dominates more than 80% of the current PV market share as shown in Figure
2.4. PV cell technologies are categorized into three generations (Bagnall & Boreland, 2008).
FEASIBILTY OF BUILDING-INEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAIC (BIPV)
APPLICATION IN SINGAPORE
5
Figure 2.4 – PV market shares with different technology
Source: (Tripathy, et al., 2016)
First-generation (1G): Mainly are the wafer-based crystalline silicon (c-Si) technology that
classified into three types as below and Figure 2.5.
 Mono-crystalline silicon (mono-Si) or single-crystalline silicon (sc-Si)
 Poly-crystalline (pc-Si) or multi-crystalline (mc-Si)
 Ribbon and sheet-defined film growth (ribbon/sheet c-Si).
Figure 2.5 – Mono and Poly-crystalline silicon PV cell
Source: (Energy Market Authority, Building and Construction Authority, 2010)
Second-generation (2G): As 1G cell technologies, whereby half of the cost is the 200 – 250µm
thick silicon wafers. There is a need to research for a low cost solar cell therefore thin-film
technology was developed which consists of three main families as shown in Figure 2.6. It holds
the promise of lowering the cost of material that comprised of thin layers 1 – 4 µm thick with the
ability to deposit into a large inexpensive different substrate materials and alloy such as glass,
polymer or steel.