This introductory course will give students a general overview of the most important topics of BIPV.

The course is divided in four lectures:


Lecture 1: Introduction to BIPV

The first lecture kicks off with a general introduction on the topic. What is BIPV? Why is it relevant? What is the relation with BAPV (Building Applied Photovoltaics) and what are the secondary functions of the BIPV-system?. Furthermore, a couple of examples (including architectural design) of BIPV-applications are shown to create the first feeling with the topic. Finally, the advantages and disadvantages are discussed. The second half of the lecture explains the main steps from the sun to electricity consumption. It starts with how sunlight is being influenced by the atmosphere before it reaches the cell. Secondly the photovoltaic effect is explained with all relevant subjects at cell level. Afterwards the focus zooms out from PV modules to complete PV systems. The lecture ends with a short introduction of the assignment.

Lecture 2: Influence on electrical performance

This lecture focusses on four topics that influence the electricity production. It explains the principles behind these topics and how negative influences can be avoided. The theory is supported with a case-study at the end of every topic.

These topics are: Influence from tilt and orientation, PV cell types, Temperature and Shading.

Lecture 3: BIPV vs. Conventional construction & Environmental impact

The first part of this lecture makes the relation to conventional constructions without BIPV and how adding BIPV influences the internal climate of a building. It explains the influence on natural lighting, heat transmittance and moisture protection. Further on the effect of passive heating is explained using the Trombe wall.

The second part focusses on the environmental impacts of BIPV. The general idea of a life cycle analysis is explained and related to a case study of a BIPV system.

Lecture 4: Market development and aesthetics

The final lecture focusses on the implementation and the market-development of BIPV. What are the barriers and what are opportunities to make BIPV a success. Main topics discussed in this lecture are: Price- and market development, Aesthetics, Legislation and drivers. The lecture ends with a perspective of the future.



After successfully completing this module, the student:

  • Understands the principle of BIPV and know all the relevant aspects of this topic.
  • Has knowledge on the basic concepts of climate change and the relationship between the anthropogenic increased greenhouse-effect and global warming.
  • Knows the current energy mix and its main actors.
  • Understands the future energy mix-scenarios and realizes the foreseen role of renewable energy, especially PV and BIPV.
  • Is conscious of the potential of BIPV and its advantages & barriers.


Project information

The Dem4BIPV project brings together leading universities in Europe to train the BIPV professionals of the future.

Project coordinator

Wilfried van Sark

T +31 (0) 30 253 7611/7600  | 

Utrecht University

Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development

Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Contact us


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Erasmus+ Programme. Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on behalf of the Commission is responsible for the use which might be made of the following information. The views expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission.

Co Funded by the Erasmus+ Program