INCREASE – effectIve advaNCements towaRds uptakE of PV integrAted in buildingS & infrastructurE

ProjectBuildings & districtsElectrical networksPower electronicsSolar Energy...
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In this project, novel technologies for building and infrastructure integrated photovoltaic systems will be developed and demonstrated at nine sites across Europe (including Hoge Kempen, Belgium) from 2026 onwards. The EnergyVille partners (VITO and KU Leuven) will focus on the power conversion system and the modelling of energy generation and use for optimal integration into the built environment at the respective sites.

Energy generation in buildings and infrastructure is a key element of the decarbonization in the built environment and an enabler for (near-)zero-energy buildings. In combination with smart control systems and energy storage, it makes high degrees of self-sufficiency and the provision of flexibility possible. However, implementation is still limited due to acceptance issues, lack of standardisation and the complexity of the design, manufacturing and installation processes. INCREASE aims to contribute to a wider uptake of integrated photovoltaics (IPV) by delivering innovations at module and system level, as well as for the design & operation phase. New encapsulants and coatings will be developed contributing to improved aesthetics, reduced glare, lower environmental footprint, improved behavior during fire, and improved antifouling and antisoiling behavior. At system level, innovations focus on integrated facade and roof concepts, as well as noise barriers. Practical guidelines will further be delivered for bespoke infrastructure integrated projects, validated with a variety of complementary infrastructure integrated PV projects. Elaborate testing is foreseen at module and system level in line with relevant construction related and electrical standards. Optimal case-specific selection of IPV size and characteristics will be supported by a multi-objective optimisation software that takes into account the shape and use of the building or infrastructure, its surroundings, and its energy flexibility potential, and steer the asset operation as well as suggest specific user behaviour to maximise the self-consumption. To increase market acceptance, a strong layer of user feedback and co-creation underpins the overall R&D activities and contributes to delivering ten complementary building and infrastructure demonstrations in nine locations in six European countries. Cross-sector interactions, policy exchanges, investor dialogues, and country-specific business case assessments will further direct the exploitation towards large scale market uptake.

How does EnergyVille contribute to this project?

VITO leads a work package on design and building operation for optimal decarbonisation and energy integration, involving the development of power and energy forecasting models based on weather data. They are also working on optimal design and dimensioning of assets and the optimization of operational controls. KU Leuven conducts studies on the design of power conversion systems. This includes the integration of battery storage, preferably connected via direct-current converters. These converters feature proven components, but also specific novel devices where needed, including advanced features such as state-of-health monitoring and interfaces to energy management systems. The work is based on the demonstrator systems that will be built by partners, and generic archetypes of buildings for further dissemination.

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Partners

This project is a collaboration between Think-E, VITO, KU Leuven and 21 European partners, funded by Horizon Europe.

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