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Study of a BIPV adaptive system: combining timber and photovoltaic technologies

Mazzucchelli, Enrico Sergio; Alston, Mark; Brzezicki, Marcin; Doniacovo, Luisa

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Enrico Sergio Mazzucchelli

Assistant Professor in Environmental Design

Marcin Brzezicki

Luisa Doniacovo


© 2018 TU Delft. All rights reserved. The paper presents the first results of research that was partly conducted within the framework of European COST Action TU1403 - Adaptive Façades Network, on the development of an adaptive BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaic) solution able to change its curvature in relation to the external environmental conditions, orientating itself in order to optimise the energy production without the aid of any mechanical and electrical systems. After analysing the characteristics of the main adaptive materials that are currently used for such applications, the contribution outlines the main features of the proposed system, which consists of thin film solar cells coupled with a thin layer of hygromorphic material, manufactured from two wooden slats joined together and produced from different types of wood and trunk cuts. The hygromorphic layer thus obtained can change its shape as a function of temperature and relative humidity of outdoor conditions, thanks to the different expansion coefficients of the two wooden slats. To evaluate the performance of the component, three shape configurations for the adaptive strips have been assumed. For each hypothesis, the lamellae have been modelled using the Rhinoceros 5 Software, according to the curvatures taken during the different months of the year. The Rhino models have been imported into Autodesk Ecotect Analysis to calculate the incident solar radiation and to study the self-shadowing effect in the various configurations (in relation to the climatic conditions of the city of Milan). The paper outlines the system and PV energy production optimisation process, as well as possible applications in the field of façade design.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 26, 2018
Publication Date Nov 26, 2018
Deposit Date Oct 31, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 31, 2018
Journal Journal of Facade Design and Engineering
Print ISSN 2213-302X
Electronic ISSN 2213-3038
Publisher IOS Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 3
Pages 149-162
Keywords adaptive façades; adaptive component; hygromorpic materials; BIPV technology; wood; timber
Public URL
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