Research Topic

System performance and solar integration in buildings, mobility and our environment

About this Research Topic

Most of mankind’s energy demand occurs in densely-populated locations such as the built environment. The logical consequence of an increased use of solar energy is that the design of buildings, cities and landscapes has to be adapted to this sustainable form of on-site energy production, distribution and consumption, leading to integrated solutions. Due to their technical, financial and design features, photovoltaic (PV) technologies can significantly contribute to these developments. Namely photovoltaic devices, modules and systems can silently convert irradiance with high performance into variable ranges of power - from milliwatts to gigawatts – in an economically viable manner, while at the same type having modifiable design features such as having a light weight, transparency, color and/or graphic patterns and being shapeable (both 2D and 3D) and flexible.

Though high performance and low cost are key for all PV systems, the above mentioned features will become more important in the forthcoming years, more specifically for the following PV applications: building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), product integrated photovoltaics (PIPV), vehicle integrated photovoltaics (VIPV) and landscape matched PV systems. Furthermore integration of PV systems in existing or retro-fitted environments with other energy technologies, electric vehicles and residential as well as commercial energy demand will ask for transdisciplinary approaches for balancing power flows between multiple stakeholders and users, storage of energy and management of power generation in combination with demand patterns.

This Research Topic aims to present how research on photovoltaics can lead to well-integrated PV systems in buildings, mobility and our environment with an excellent performance, affordable costs and with great societal acceptance. Namely social acceptance of PV applications can be significantly reduced by concerns about their environmental impact, return of investment, visual appearance, spatial quality of landscapes, whether these are urban, rural or water environments, fear for unsafe situations and concerns about loss of agricultural land, recreation opportunities and/or biodiversity. Summarizing, in addition to producing renewable electricity with PV systems at high efficiency and low cost, many other values are attached to PV systems that determine their integration potential.

Topics covered include, but are not limited to:
• PV system analysis and simulation
• PV devices for dedicated applications
• Design and production of PV modules for BIPV, PIPV, VIPV and landscape integration
• Life cycle analysis of PV in the context of applications
• Long-term monitoring of performance and reliability of PV modules, systems and integrated PV applications
• User studies on the perception and acceptance of PV systems and integrated PV solutions
• Financial studies regarding solar integration
• Transdisciplinary studies on solar integration
• Legal and governance aspects of integration of photovoltaics
• Standards for integrated PV applications
• Biology and ecology around PV systems and PV
• Landscape studies regarding solar integration
• Studies on social aspects of PV systems
• Architectural aspects of BIPV
• Automotive design of VIPV
• PV systems, building integrated PV, PV in mobility, floating PV, product integrated PV etc.

We encourage researchers to publish their experimental and theoretical results in as much detail as possible, such that they can be reproduced. In particular manuscripts reporting about interdisciplinary research results which combine technical, social, environmental and economic aspects are appreciated. If possible, a validation of simulated results should be included in a manuscript.


Keywords: PV systems, building integrated PV, PV in mobility, solar landscapes, performance, simulations


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Most of mankind’s energy demand occurs in densely-populated locations such as the built environment. The logical consequence of an increased use of solar energy is that the design of buildings, cities and landscapes has to be adapted to this sustainable form of on-site energy production, distribution and consumption, leading to integrated solutions. Due to their technical, financial and design features, photovoltaic (PV) technologies can significantly contribute to these developments. Namely photovoltaic devices, modules and systems can silently convert irradiance with high performance into variable ranges of power - from milliwatts to gigawatts – in an economically viable manner, while at the same type having modifiable design features such as having a light weight, transparency, color and/or graphic patterns and being shapeable (both 2D and 3D) and flexible.

Though high performance and low cost are key for all PV systems, the above mentioned features will become more important in the forthcoming years, more specifically for the following PV applications: building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), product integrated photovoltaics (PIPV), vehicle integrated photovoltaics (VIPV) and landscape matched PV systems. Furthermore integration of PV systems in existing or retro-fitted environments with other energy technologies, electric vehicles and residential as well as commercial energy demand will ask for transdisciplinary approaches for balancing power flows between multiple stakeholders and users, storage of energy and management of power generation in combination with demand patterns.

This Research Topic aims to present how research on photovoltaics can lead to well-integrated PV systems in buildings, mobility and our environment with an excellent performance, affordable costs and with great societal acceptance. Namely social acceptance of PV applications can be significantly reduced by concerns about their environmental impact, return of investment, visual appearance, spatial quality of landscapes, whether these are urban, rural or water environments, fear for unsafe situations and concerns about loss of agricultural land, recreation opportunities and/or biodiversity. Summarizing, in addition to producing renewable electricity with PV systems at high efficiency and low cost, many other values are attached to PV systems that determine their integration potential.

Topics covered include, but are not limited to:
• PV system analysis and simulation
• PV devices for dedicated applications
• Design and production of PV modules for BIPV, PIPV, VIPV and landscape integration
• Life cycle analysis of PV in the context of applications
• Long-term monitoring of performance and reliability of PV modules, systems and integrated PV applications
• User studies on the perception and acceptance of PV systems and integrated PV solutions
• Financial studies regarding solar integration
• Transdisciplinary studies on solar integration
• Legal and governance aspects of integration of photovoltaics
• Standards for integrated PV applications
• Biology and ecology around PV systems and PV
• Landscape studies regarding solar integration
• Studies on social aspects of PV systems
• Architectural aspects of BIPV
• Automotive design of VIPV
• PV systems, building integrated PV, PV in mobility, floating PV, product integrated PV etc.

We encourage researchers to publish their experimental and theoretical results in as much detail as possible, such that they can be reproduced. In particular manuscripts reporting about interdisciplinary research results which combine technical, social, environmental and economic aspects are appreciated. If possible, a validation of simulated results should be included in a manuscript.


Keywords: PV systems, building integrated PV, PV in mobility, solar landscapes, performance, simulations


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

25 October 2020 Abstract
25 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

25 October 2020 Abstract
25 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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