Concentrating PhotoVoltaic glazing (CoPVG) system: Modelling and simulation of smart building façade

Giovanni Barone, Aggelos Zacharopoulos, Annamaria Buonomano, Cesare Forzano, Giovanni Francesco Giuzio, Jayanta Mondol, Adolfo Palombo, Adrian Pugsley, Mervyn Smyth

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)
    186 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper presents an innovative Concentrating Glazing system to be adopted in smart building façades: The Concentrating Photovoltaic Glazing system (CoPVG). The device consists of a double-glazing panel integrating a series of concentrating lenses. A thin layer of PV cells is then placed at the lenses' focus. The peculiar lens design can produce, by using the Total Internal Reflection (TIR), a seasonal effect with more light entering the building at low incidence angles (i.e. in the winter months) and higher electricity production at high incidence angles (i.e. in the summer months). To investigate this device's performance, a suitable dynamic simulation tool has been developed in MATLAB environment. Furthermore, to investigate active (electric energy production) and passive (building insulation and solar gains variations) effects related to the building integrated devices, the developed CoPVG simulation tool is implemented in a building energy performance simulation one (DETECt). To show the potential of the innovative device, a case study relative to a multi-floor office building integrating the innovative CoPVG prototype is investigated. Conventional and semi-transparent PV windows are also investigated for comparative purposes. By using the novel façade system, interesting energy savings ranging from 30 to 60 % for the investigated weather zones can be obtained.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number121597
    Early online date7 Aug 2021
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jan 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021 Elsevier Ltd


    • Building efficiency
    • Concentrating photovoltaic glazing
    • Dynamic simulation
    • Smart facades
    • Solar energy


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