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A method for predicting the economic potential of (building-integrated) photovoltaics in urban areas based on hourly Radiance simulations

: Fath, K.; Stengel, J.; Sprenger, W.; Wilson, H.R.; Schultmann, F.; Kuhn, T.E.


Solar energy 116 (2015), pp.357-370
ISSN: 0038-092X
ISSN: 0375-9865
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()
Thermische Anlagen und Gebäudetechnik; Energieeffiziente Gebäude; Fassaden und Fenster; photovoltaics; city model; radiance; economic potential

This study presents and demonstrates a methodology for calculating the economic potential of photovoltaic installations in urban areas including the previously often disregarded potential on building façades. The analysis of a 2km2 urban area has shown that building façades there provide almost triple the area of building roofs. However due to non-optimal inclination and orientation, they receive only 41% of the total irradiation. From this, the economic potential under present market conditions was calculated, resulting in 17% of all analyzed building surfaces, i.e. 0.3km2 of roof surfaces being economically exploitable for photovoltaic installations already now which corresponds to an installed capacity of 47MWp. Considering further a material substitution from the building integration of the photovoltaic installations, an economic potential of up to 56MWp or 0.4km2 results, of which up to 6MWp or 0.04km2 are economically installable on building façades. Façade-mounted installations would then account for 13% of the economic potential.
The calculation of an economic potential and additionally considering the material substitution from building integration both constitute an extension to many existing renewable energy potential studies just focusing on the technical potential. However, only the economic potential allows forecasts of the future diffusion of this technology.