Building Integration of Renewable Energies

pv and matching clad façadeTopic leader: Jean-Louis Scartezzini
PhD student: Pietro Florio
Former group leaders: Christian Roecker / Maria Cristina Munari-Probst (PhD supervisor)

Recently in the media:
RTS – Intercités 14.3.17: Des panneaux solaires comme matériaux de construction
RTS – CQFD 1.12.16: L’impact estétique des panneaux solaire sur les bâtiments
EPFL News 29.11.16: Reconciling solar energy and heritage preservation

Many building surfaces are ideally suited for the use of solar energy, but high costs, technical and aesthetic considerations have long kept building owners and architects from using even a small part of this potential. The research group “Renewables Integration into the Built Environment” addresses exactly these problems.

Major progress has been made in photovoltaics and solar thermal integration in the framework of several international projects conducted by the renewables group over the last years. The most recent results are several photovoltaics and solar thermal integration guidelines published in the framework of International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling (IEA SHC) Programme Task 41 “Solar Energy and Architecture” as well as the website, which gives an overview of recent integration technology and was published as a result of IEA SHC Task 51 “Solar Energy in Urban Planning”.

Acceptability of integration solutions was addressed in collaboration with architects and authorities through the development of the LESO QSV Approach (see related publication).

Another result was Demosite, an international exhibition and testing center for integrated photovoltaics set up in the framework of the International Energy Agency PVPS programme. Demosite is now closed but results can be seen at Several pilot installations have been set up on the EPFL campus as well as in the region (Morges Railway Station, Monthey, Montreux …). For publications on all developments, see below.

The group was also involved in the solar airplane project Solar Impulse, where modelling of solar irradiation and structural integration were their main focus.

Currently, the group focuses on renewable energy integration in the framework of Urban Planning.

Factsheet 2017/2018

simulated picture solar impulse airplane flying above epfl with lake in Geneva in background


Architectural integration of Solar Thermal Technology

Airplane integration of Solar thermal technology

PhD thesis

  • Munari Probst Maria Cristina, Architectural integration and design of solar thermal systems, EPFL PhD thesis 4258 (2008)

Websites (IEA SHC Task 51, Roecker C., Munari Probst M.C., Deschamps L.) (IEA PVPS Programme, Swiss Federal Office of Energy)

Main Publications

  • M. C. Munari Probst and C. Roecker.Building Integrability of Solar Thermal Systems – Present & Future.7th Energy Forum on Solar Building Skins, Bressanone, Italie, December 6-7, 2011.(2011)
  • M. C. Munari Probst, A. Schueler and C. Roecker. Bringing colours to solar collectors: a contribution to an increased building “integrability”.Colour & Light in Architectecture, Venice, November 11-12, 2010.(2010)
  • K. Farkas, M. C. Munari Probst and M. Horvat. Barriers and Needs for Building Integration of Solar Thermal and Photovoltaics.EuroSun 2010, Graz, September 28 – October 1st, 2010 (2010)
  • A. Giovanardi, R. Lollini, M. C. Munari Probst, C. Roecker and P. Baggio.Development of solar ventilated façade system for building energy retrofit. Prod. EuroSun 2010 (2010)
  • M. Edelman, M. C. Munari Probst, C. Roecker and F. Foradini. Building envelope and solar energy optimization: a new “wizard” for architects.27th International Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgique, July 13-15, 2011.(2011)
  • M. C. Munari Probst and C. Roecker.Urban acceptability of building integrated solar systems: LESO-QSV approach.ISES Solar World Congress 2011, Kassel, Germany, August 28 – September 2, 2011.(2011)
  • Roecker C., Munari Probst M.C., Witzig A., Foradini F., Simulation tool for architects, In CISBAT 2009 Proceedings, p. 677-682, Lausanne, September 2-3 (2009)
  • Munari Probst M.C.; Roecker C., Towards an Improved Architectural Quality of Building Integrated Solar Thermal Systems (BIST), In Solar Energy, vol. 81, num. 9, 2007, p. 1104-1116 (2007)
  • Munari Probst M.C.; Kosoric V.; Schüler A.; De Chambrier E. and al., Facade Integration of Solar Thermal Collectors: Present and Future, In CISBAT 2007 Proceedings, p. 171-176, Lausanne, EPFL, 4-5 September  (2007)
  • Munari Probst M.C.; Roecker C., From Thermal Collectors Integration to Active Façade Systems, In PLEA 2007 Proceedings, Singapore, 22-24 November (2007)
  • Roecker C.; Munari Probst M.C.; De Chambrier E.; Schüler A., Facade Integration of Solar Thermal Collectors: A Breakthrough? In ISES Solar World Congress 2007 Proceedings, Beijing, 3-6 September (2007)
  • Schüler A.;  Deepanshu D.; De Chambrier E.; Roecker C.; De Temmerman G.; Oelhafen P.; Scartezzini J.-L., Sol-Gel Deposition and Optical Characterization of Multilayered Si02 / Ti1-xSixO2 Coatings on Solar Collector Glasses, In Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, num. 90, p. 2894-2907 (2006)
  • Schüler A.; De Chambrier E.; Roecker C.; Scartezzini J.-L., Colored Solar Collectors Phase II, Annual report, Swiss Federal Energy Office SFOE (2006)
  • Munari Probst M.-C.; Roecker C., SOLABS: Project deliverable 1.2: Guidelines and examples for Architectural Design, Final report (2006)
  • Integration and formal development of solar thermal collectors / Munari Probst, M.-C.; Roecker, C. – Presented at PLEA 2005, Beirut, Lebanon, November 13-16. BEST PAPER AWARD!
  • Nanostructured materials for solar energy conversion / Oelhafen, P.; Schueler, A. – In Solar Energy, num. 79 (2005), p. 110-121.
  • Thin film multilayer design types for colored glazed thermal solar collectors / Schueler, A. et al. – In Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, num. 89 (2005), p. 219-231.
  • Potential of quarterwave interference stacks for colored thermal solar collectors / Schueler, A. et al. – In Solar Energy, num. 79 (2005), p. 122-130.
  • Specifications, criteria and user’s wishes for architectural integartion of solar collectors / Munari-Probst M.C., Roecker C. Final report. Deliverable D1.1 EU SOLABS project, August (2004)
  • Towards coloured glazed thermal solar collectors / Schueler, A. et al. – In Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, num. 84 (2004), p. 225.
  • On the feasibility of colored glazed thermal solar collectors based on thin film interference filters / Schueler, A. et al. – In Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, vol. 84 (2004), p. 241-254.
  • DEMOSITE – Site de démonstration d’éléments de construction photovoltaïques intégrés au bâtiment / Roecker, C.; Affolter, P.; Muller, A. N.; Ould-Henia, A.. Technical report. 2003
  • Solface ! New mounting system for PV facades / Schaller, F.; Roecker, C.
  • SOLGREEN PV on green roofs : Technology, Experiences and system improvements / Roecker, C. et al. – In 17th European Phtovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, Munich (2001).
  • New Mounting Systems for PV on Buildings / Roecker, C.
  • Photovoltaïque sur toits plats, une nouvelle approche. Rapport final OFEN / Roecker, C.; Bonvin, J.; Muller, A.; Zaerpour, Z. 1999
  • Installation-pilote photovoltaïque sur toit plat à base de nouveaux supports en fibro-ciment / Roecker, C.; Affolter, P.; Bonvin, J.; Muller, A.. Technical report. 1998
  • Photovolotaïque intégré aux marquises de gare. / Gay, J.-B. et al.. Technical report. 1996