Building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panels use solar energy to supply most of the Home’s electricity. BIPVs were integrated with roof and window elements: Blue Photowatt solar cells are arranged in glass-on-glass panels with 1 cm to 1.6 cm spaces to allow daylighting of the third floor attic. This BIPV system provides on-site energy generation of approximately 2 kilowatts.
The BIPVs in the roof represent a trade-off between the demonstration aspects of the Home and the insulation properties of the roof. The large area of window in which visitors can view the photovoltaic cells in detail also results in large temperature fluctuations in the attic during summer and winter as much of the roof is without insulation. This trade-off supports the primary purpose of AFRESH Home as a demonstration site.