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Integrated semi-transparent cadmium telluride photovoltaic glazing into windows: Energy and daylight performance for different architecture designs

Sun, Yanyi; Shanks, Katie; Baig, Hasan; Zhang, Wei; Hao, Xia; Li, Yongxue; He, Bo; Wilson, Robin; Liu, Hao; Sundaram, Senthilarasu; Zhang, Jingquan; Xie, Lingzhi; Mallick, Tapas; Wu, Yupeng


Yanyi Sun

Katie Shanks

Hasan Baig

Wei Zhang

Xia Hao

Yongxue Li

Bo He

Robin Wilson

Hao Liu

Jingquan Zhang

Lingzhi Xie

Tapas Mallick

Yupeng Wu


When integrating photovoltaics into building windows, the photovoltaic glazing modules inhibit the function that glass performs, with the additional function of energy production. Semi-transparent Photovoltaic (STPV) glazing will absorb part of the solar radiation incident on the window surface to generate electrical power. In turn, this affects the overall solar energy and natural daylight penetrating into the indoor space. Various factors determine the building energy performance and indoor comfort level as a result of adopting STPV glazing. The factors regarding window design alone (window size, PV glazing coverage ratio and PV glazing placing position) require rigorous study. In this paper, an innovate model (combined optical, electrical and energy model) was developed to comprehensively evaluate the performance of an office equipped with STPV window and firstly analyse the effect of window design on overall energy efficiency. A double-glazing unit integrated with thin film CdTe solar cells with 10% transparency was electrically characterised by Sandia Array Performance Model (SAPM). The annual energy performance of a typical office served by window integrated STPV glazing was investigated through EnergyPlus simulation for various window designs under five typical climatic conditions in China (using weather files of Harbin, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Kunming for representation). The optical performance (defined by a Bidirectional Scattering Distribution Function) of this STPV glazing was also obtained using a ray-tracing technique. Then, the annual daylight performance of the porotype office was assessed using RADIANCE. We found that when compared to a conventional double-glazed system, the application of PV window can result in considerable energy saving if the office has a relatively large window-to-wall ratio (i.e. ≥ 45%), while the position of placing STPV glazing has significant influence on the lighting energy consumption. In the specific climates under test, the optimal design scenario of applying window integrated PV can result in a reduction in energy consumption of up to 73%. The simulation results also show that this PV window offers better daylight performance than conventional double glazing and effectively reduces the possibility of glare.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 11, 2018
Online Publication Date Sep 28, 2018
Publication Date 2018-12
Deposit Date Mar 13, 2023
Print ISSN 0306-2619
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 231
Pages 972-984
Keywords Semi-transparent photovoltaic (STPV) glazing, Building simulation, EnergyPlus, RADIANCE