Design and development of advanced photovoltaic (PV) glass-based materials for net zero energy buildings (NZEB)

Author Identifier

M. Khairul Basher

Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Science

First Supervisor

Steven Hinckley

Second Supervisor

Kamal Alameh


The need for sustainable and eco-friendly energy sources has led to a surge in the demand for net-zero energy buildings (NZEBs). Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPVs) is emerging as a promising technology for achieving this goal as the construction industry has a significant impact on global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. NZEB design aims to produce the energy required for building operations through building-integrated renewable energy sources. However, the visual distortion and limited color options namely black, or blue present in the current BIPV products have resulted in monotonous building appearances, limiting their adoption by architects and builders. To overcome these challenges, various studies have focused on developing aesthetically pleasing BIPV green energy products, such as semitransparent PV (STPV) glass and multicolor photovoltaic (PV) modules. The highly efficient and semitransparent periodic micropattern-based PV (PMPV) glass that is currently available in the market faces a notable issue with visual distortion, which considerably restricts its visual appeal. To overcome this issue, in this study, an aperiodic micropattern-based PV (AMPV) glass (CdTe based thin film PV module) is designed and developed. The AMPV module significantly reduces the visual distortion, demonstrating a haze ratio of 3.7%, compared to the 10.7% of PMPV glass. On the other hand, a study of micro-patterned-based color photovoltaic (MPCPV) modules, is designed, developed, and characterized to overcome the limitations of color options of BIPVs. The MPCPV module exhibits an aesthetically attractive and flexible building color suitable for industrial applications that possess an efficiency of 9.6%, which is 4.1% higher than a single-color PV module (5.5%) but closer to a conventional CdTe based thin-film PV module (14.5%). The results suggest that the developed color PV module is suitable for modern infrastructures that will enable energy generation on-site without compromising the aesthetic appearance. Furthermore, a selective micropatterning approach is also applied to enhance the efficiency and aesthetic appeal of color PV modules. The micropatterning technique involves selectively removing black pixels from a multi-color pattern, which leads to an increase in the surface area of the PV cells and facilitates greater light absorption, resulting in higher output power. The efficiency of the selective micropattern-based color PV (SMCPV) module (11.36%) is found higher by nearly 18% compared to an MPCPV module (9.6%). This research is a significant step forward in developing effective and visually pleasing color PV modules, which could contribute to the transition to future net-zero energy buildings and a sustainable environment. This study demonstrates the current stage and future goal of advanced building integrated photovoltaic systems, with a particular focus on developing aesthetically pleasing BIPV systems. Further research and development in this area will enable architects and builders to design buildings using BIPV modules while enhancing their visual and aesthetic appeal, resulting in an environmentally friendly future.



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