Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) has gained large popularity in recent years. However, its effective design remains challenging. Different but often related design concerns regarding BIPV are normally treated, in the current practice, in multiple but separated design phases with different models and tools. The complexities in maintaining the consistency between those models employed in separated phases make seamless PV and building integration, one of the major concerns of BIPV design, far from satisfying. To this end, this paper proposes a uniform BIPV design platform: e-BIM, which is a BIM (Building Information Modelling) - centric BIPV design and analysis software platform, to address the related design concerns via one uniform data model. The concept of domain-specific models is introduced to allow the external PV-related models to be integrated into the uniform model. To simplify model synchronization problem, the domain-specific views corresponding to specific domains are provided to designers and meanwhile a synchronization engine is developed to automate data consistency among views and the uniform model. The current prototype is developed based on Autodesk® Revit and tested in a practical BIPV application. The results show that this platform achieves seamless BIPV design for architects, PV system designers and electricity professionals. Moreover, compared to the initial BIPV design, the photovoltaic system cost is reduced by 11.7% and the transmission losses by 2.95%.
Automation in Construction – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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