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BIPV

What is BIPV technology?

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are solar power generating products or systems that are seamlessly integrated into the building envelope and part of building components such as façades, roofs or windows. Serving a dual purpose, a BIPV system is an integral component of the building skin that simultaneously converts solar energy into electricity and provides building envelope functions.

What are the Solar Facade panel size options?

We have the capability to accommodate any size according to the client's designs or specifications. Mitrex collaborates closely with architects and designers to fulfill all of their requirements. For more about BIPV panel size customization, visit our Shapes and Sizes page.

How is the glass adhered to the solar cells?

We utilize EVA lamination, following a lamination process similar to that used for glazed PVB windows.

What is the cost difference between a traditional architectural panel and a BIPV panel?

Pricing and cost differences will vary on a project-to-project basis and according to the chosen material (i.e. between a traditional porcelain panel vs a BIPV facade panel) and purchase option (i.e. supply only or full turnkey). For more information, Contact Us.

Energy

What is the power generation and efficiency of each Solar Facade panel?

Our cell efficiency of Mitrex facade panels is 22%, which is comparable to traditional solar panels. 

How much energy do the BIPV panels produce?

The amount of energy produced by panels is dependent on the system size and environmental factors such as shading, dust and debris, snow, and other weather factors. The range is from 7-18W/ft2 (75-196W/m2).

Do Mitrex solar panels produce energy on a cloudy day?

On cloudy days, Mitrex Panels will still generate electricity as there is diffuse sunlight that allows the panels to produce power. However, the power output may be less than the generation on a sunny day. 

If the power generated will be consumed by the building, is it necessary to establish a connection with the grid and obtain permit approvals?

Certainly, a grid connection is still required since the electricity generated by the BIPV system might not suffice to fully power the entire building. Mitrex can provide support in obtaining necessary approvals and can help facilitate an initial impact assessment with Hydro. Up to now, we haven't encountered any issues with projects obtaining approvals.

How does the metering of energy happen?

This occurs in the same manner as any other metering system, regardless of whether it's for solar or hydroelectricity.

How to install

How does the Solar Facade attach to the building?

Mitrex Solar Facade is offered in various systems that do not require special installation - we offer rainscreen systems, unitized wall systems, or prefab wall systems. There are various attachment options available, and our team will always work with your architects to meet any unique requirements and specifications. For more information about our installation systems, visit our Systems page.

Does the BIPV installation require a specific type of contractor or installation specialist?

Both the Mechanical and Electrical installation aspects utilize methods and techniques commonly used in buildings and PV installations. There are no new methods or techniques that installers are required to learn. Typically, any cladding installer with experience in installing panelized cladding systems would be able to install our system and make panel-to-panel connections (low voltage) under the supervision of an electrician on site -with a licensed electrician making the final inverter and grid connections to the building. In our local markets, Mitrex can take on the entire installation scope for projects as well.

For contractors that are new to Mitrex, we can offer support in the form of a 1 or 2-day training at our facility, having a Mitrex Project Manager oversee installations and a Technical Manager provide supervision and quality control on-site, availability on online platforms for troubleshooting, and performance mock-ups prior to construction. We have a team of architects and engineers to support installers by providing installation manuals and drawings. For more information about BIPV installation systems, visit our Systems page.

Electrical

What happens with the wiring, and where does it go (i.e., electrical room)?

We have the flexibility to route all the wiring to the electrical room. Alternatively, if the panel is of sufficient capacity, we can consider locating it on the mechanical penthouse. Typically, this determination is made after we gather the system design details and conduct a meeting with the project's electrical team.

Which electrical elements will need to be provided by other parties?

Mitrex offers a few purchase options from supply of panels only to a full turnkey solution. We can provide all of the necessary components of the BIPV system (inverter, disconnect, rapid shutdown, transformer (if required), panel board, etc.)

What is the maximum run from panel to inverter?

There is no set maximum length. To mitigate voltage drops, we can enhance the wire size - our usual recommendation is to employ a 10AWG cable.

Mechanical

Is galvanized or stainless steel used for the clip attachment system and at what gauge?

Our clips are made from aluminum. L-bars, Z-bars, and thermal brackets are constructed from galvanized steel (hot-dip galvanized). The thermal clips are also made from galvanized steel, while the PAD is composed of HDFPP (high-density fireproof plastic).

What is the maximum thickness of exterior insulation that can be used with the Mitrex BIPV installation system?

A standard insulation detail usually involves 4 inches of insulation with an R-value of 16. However, it's possible to increase the insulation depth to a maximum of 12 inches, depending on the UL-rated wall assembly in use. We can adjust this depth to achieve your desired R-value. Additionally, if needed, Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) insulation is an option, contingent on meeting UL requirements. 

Warranty & Testing

What is the warranty for the BIPV panels?

Mitrex provides a 25-year product warranty, which covers BIPV as a building material, along with a 25-year performance warranty guaranteeing at least 80% of the initial output by year 25. Inverter warranties vary based on the chosen brand and model, but the industry standard typically offers a 10-year warranty period.

What if I suspect my panels are damaged/do not produce energy?

Look at your system: When it is safe to do so, inspect your solar panel system. Look to see if you can visually identify any sign of damage to the panels. If possible, take photos and videos so the damage can be assessed. We also recommend checking the entire system (breakers, inverter, etc) to see if they have been damaged.

Get in touch: If you can clearly identify that your solar panels have been damaged, Contact Us.

What are the cleaning/maintenance requirements or specific cleaning equipment required to maintain optimal performance?

Mitrex panels are virtually maintenance-free (self-cleaning) due to their anti-soiling coating system (molecularly bonded silica shield) that allows for dust/dirt to be washed away by rainfall. Otherwise, any cleaning would follow the same cleaning protocols as a standard glass facade. For other system components (inverter, etc.), standard maintenance and replacement schedules apply. 

In addition to the 25-year performance warranty, Mitrex also offers a 25-year product warranty (guaranteeing product quality, aesthetics, etc.). If any panels fail in terms of performance or quality within the warranty period, we replace the panels at no cost (other than labor). For more information about the warranty, Contact Us.

What is the UL rating of BIPV assemblies?

The UL rating varies significantly based on the specific wall assembly. The rating will shift according to the composition of the wall. It's essential for consultants to determine this on a project-to-project basis. For more information about Mitrex testing and certifications, visit Certifications & Downloads.

What tests have been done for Mitrex Solar Facade panels?

Mitrex BIPV is tested for building code standards, including NFPA 285 and Miami-Dade standards. From a PV perspective, Mitrex is tested for all safety, performance, and quality standards required of solar, including UL 61730 and UL 61215. Mitrex conducts regular in-house and third-party testing to ensure we exceed the safety and quality standards of both building and PV industries. To review our General Testing Summary and test demonstrations, visit Certifications & Downloads.

Government Incentives

How does the 30% Federal Tax credit work in USA? Does it translate into a 30% reduction from the installed cost?

In the United States, the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) remains a pivotal incentive for homeowners and businesses opting for solar energy. This credit covers a significant portion of the costs associated with installing solar systems.

 As of 2023, the Clean Energy Credit offers a minimum of 30% tax credit for qualified clean energy installations, including solar photovoltaics (PV), which can go up to 70%. This initiative is part of a broader effort to promote sustainable energy solutions across the country. Consult with your accountant on whether you project qualifies.

How does the Clean Technology Investment Tax Credit work in Canada?

Canada's approach to green energy incentives focuses on the Clean Technology Investment Tax Credit. This refundable tax credit, introduced in the 2023 federal budget, encourages investments in sustainable energy technologies, including solar PV, wind, and energy storage systems. It's a significant step towards a sustainable, made-in-Canada clean economy.

Key highlights include: 30% Refundable Tax Credit on the capital cost of investments in eligible clean technology, it is applicable for a wide Range of Technologies including wind, solar PV, and energy storage technologies, and it is available for project spending from March 2023, through to 2034.

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