3.5 PV systems for non-domestic buildings
The large development at Amersfoort in the Netherlands shown in Figure 7 has a total of 1 MW of PV generating capacity installed on the roofs of houses, schools and community buildings. The PV arrays are owned by the local electricity company, which pays homeowners for the electricity they produce.
Watch this video for more details of the Amersfoort PV project. The first speaker is Professor Erik Lysen of the University of Utrecht.
PV arrays can also be integrated into the roofs and walls of commercial, institutional and industrial buildings, replacing some of the conventional wall cladding or roofing materials that would otherwise have been needed and reducing the net costs of the PV system (see Figure 8 and Figure 9), In the case of some prestige office buildings, the cost of conventional cladding materials can exceed the cost of cladding with PV. Commercial and industrial buildings are normally mainly occupied during daylight, which correlates well with the availability of solar radiation.
In most countries operating a 'Feed-in Tariff' scheme, users are paid a premium rate per kWh for all PV power generated. When available, PV power replaces power that would otherwise have to be purchased from the grid at the normal ‘retail’ price; and during periods of low demand, any surplus PV power can be sold to the grid.
Next we’ll discuss PV systems for supplying power on a much larger scale, to local or regional electricity grids.