As part of the DEM4BIPV project, the University of Cyprus, the Utrecht University and Fachhochschule Technikum Wien developed each a remote BIPV laboratory to enhance the practical part of the BIPV course, in the form of Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

The remote labs, which are real physical experimental setups that can be accessed remotely by students for different experimental exercises through the internet via web functionalities, are hosted in each respective laboratory; in some cases, these remote labs formed part of existing research infrastructure of the participating laboratories. Some of the benefits of implementing remote labs include:

•    Allowing students to explore a topic by comparing and contrasting different scenarios.
•    Students obtaining practical experimentation experience over the Internet in a safe manner.
•    Easily accessible experimental work everywhere.
•    Actively engaging students.
•    Enabling students to perform virtual simulations before going into the real physical laboratory.


The remote labs developed are as follows:

I)    Remote laboratory for outdoor testing of BIPV modules (University of Cyprus)

This comprises of a small-scale experimental setup for testing BIPV modules in real conditions. The lab serves the purpose of measuring in real time among others BIPV electrical parameters, meteorological parameters, I-V and thermal behaviour measurements.

Specific Learning Objectives
•    Acquire and analyze performance data for BIPV modules.
•    Determine the efficiency and performance ratio of PV modules given the in-plane irradiance and power output.
•    Identify the common performance loss factors of BIPV.
•    Develop models to analyze the performance of different BIPV technologies.

Go to the UCY remote laboratory (only available within the UCY network)


II)    Multidisciplinary functional integration of PV power systems into buildings and grids (Fachhochschule Technikum Wien)

The lab allows for comparative research of PV systems performance in terms of different geographic irradiation conditions, module orientation/azimuth/elevation, and different design techniques. Moreover, the lab can enable the study of the effect of aggregation of volatile energy resources (i.e. virtual power plant) and relevant methods of information modelling and communication.  

Specific Learning Objectives
•    Qualify and estimate the energy yield of an aggregated PV-System with BIPV-typical orientation
•    Setup a measuring system by use of Modbus or other protocols
•    Setup an information exchange system by use of information modelling given by the IEC-61850 with the option to use MMS as transport protocol according to IEC-61850-8-1.
•    Implement small adaptations of a java program to meet specific needs.
•    Handle and interpret wireshark, a tool for analysing communication protocols, in particular the international standard MMS (ISO 9506), which is used to exchange information, modelled according to IEC-61850.
•    Optionally: understand Abstract Syntax Notation.1 (ASN.1) and corresponding Basic Encoding Rules (BER), as used to encode MMS standard.

Go to the FHTW remote laboratory


III)    Virtual laboratory using real data for simulations (Utrecht University)

The lab enables students to combine measured data from UU’s outdoor PV test facility with different advanced modelling approaches for predicting PV performance of different PV module technologies on different building surfaces.

Specific Learning Objectives
•    Assess the influence of façade orientations on received irradiance
•    Understand and use different irradiance models, and validate them
•    Model the performance of different types of PV modules on any building surface using measured irradiance and weather data
•    Assess the optimal PV module technology for different types of PV module installation (e.g. open rack, roof mounted, façade/roof integrated)
•    Use the PV and irradiance modelling tool PVlib in python
•    Use basic python functions

Go to the UU remote laboratory


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

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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