BIPV - Building Integrated Photovoltaic

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Castaneum Center

Architectural system: 
Opaque roof
Tilted roof
Building use: 
BIPV costruction year: 
From 2013
Eurac Research
Castaneum Center BIPV roofing system (Arch. Albert Colz)
Piazza Silvius Magnago 1, Velturno (BZ), Italy

In 2008 the municipality of Velturno launched a call for a tender for the building design. Arch. Albert Colz won the competition, with a first project proposal that did not consider the photovoltaic implementation. Later, the PV was integrated into the plan. Elektrostudio was mainly responsible for the technical design and the installation of the PV system. Obrist GmbH was chosen as modules and system supplier. The building was completed in 2015.

Aesthetic integration

Castaneum centr is a mixed-use building in Velturno, a little village located on a sunlit hill of South Tyrol. The building’s facades are characterized by a modern appearance. On the roof, a photovoltaic plant is integrated replacing the traditional roofing materials. It is inserted in the context of historical houses with their traditional gabled roofs. The building preserves the tradition with a dark-pitched roof, with a decreased tilt angle, so that the BIPV modules, covering most of the available surface, are not visible from the street.

Energy integration

The BIPV plant was sized to produce about 60,000 kWh, yearly. It was estimated to cover most of the building electricity demand as well as feeding a large amount of energy into the grid (Arch. Albert Colz). The solar power is not the only kind of renewable energy used in the building. The district heating plants of Velturno supplies the building’s thermal demand. This wide use of renewable energy contributes to the CasaClima A certification of the building.

Technology integration

193 PV modules (WINAICO WSP-M6 PERC Series) are integrated on the roof. This module typology is particularly suitable to be placed on high sunlit surfaces. It is characterized by the anti-PID (Potential Induced Degradation) technology, aimed to avoid a phenomenon that, enforced by high temperature and high level of humidity, can provoke permanent degradation of the p–n junctions. The modules are installed on the concrete roof surface and follow the gable shape. They are fixed with aluminium crosswise clamps that create a gap between the PV panels and the concrete, allowing natural ventilation of the plant.

Decision making

The municipality of Velturno decided to apply photovoltaic technology in order to directly produce renewable energy on-site. Arch. Colz proposed to integrate the PV plant on the roof, so that it doesn't compromise the building aesthetic value and it is an energetically effective solution, not subject to shading between panels (Arch. Albert Colz).

Lesson learnt

From the start of BIPV plant design phase, the aesthetic viewpoint played an important role. The photovoltaic surface was completed with optically matching black powder-coated panels, exactly aligned with the modules. Further, gangways— that partly correspond to the roof ridge—were installed for maintenance operations of the PV plant. Technically, an adjustment of the initial plan was needed. The PV panels were initially meant to be fixed to the building’s steel structure directly, causing probable heat bridges through the concrete roof. The problem was solved with a design modification (Arch. Albert Colz). This highlighted the importance of performing detailed evaluations in designing complex components as a BIPV system.



Project type: 
New construction
Building function: 
Integration system: 
Opaque tilted roof


Module type: 
Standard modules
Solar technology: 
Monocrystalline silicon
System capacity [kWp]: 
System size [m²]: 
Module size [mm]: 
1,665 x 999
South, West, East
Tilt [°]: 
7 , 4


Total cost [€]: 


Win Win Precision Technology Co., Ltd.
Gongdao 5th Rd., Hsinchu City, Taiwan


Piazza Silvius Magnago 1, Velturno (BZ), Italy

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