PV-BIDPAT: An Evaluation and Design Tool for Building Integrated Photovoltaic Installations
This paper discusses the development of a software tool called PV-BIDPAT, that is used to evaluate, design, and plan building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) installations. The tool consists of life cycle inventory and life cycle cost components and performs comprehensive calculations of the environmental costs and benefits of BIPV technology. These calculations compare BIPV to the functionally equivalent combination of conventional building materials and grid electricity. Currently there are two roofing products and one module-level inverter in the PV-BIDPAT library. An example case for a 2kW array of PV shingles in the Detroit, MI area showed significant benefits for the BIPV system in lower resource and energy use, as well as reduced air emissions.