The Fotovoltaica/UFSC Solar Energy Research Laboratory at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina carries out R&D and demonstration project in various areas of solar energy applications in Brazil, with a primary focus on photovoltaic systems integrated into the built environment, and connected to the public utility grid, the so called Solar Photovoltaic Buildings.
Since the beginning of its commercialization, electricity has been supplied to residential, commercial, industrial and public consumers through centralised generation and complex transmission and distribution systems. With no moving parts, minimal maintenance, no noise or any other kind of pollution, and using the practically inexhaustible energy of the sun, Solar Photovoltaic Buildings have been growing worldwide in importance and application.
Photovoltaic Solar Buildings integrate on their facades and/or roofs solar modules that generate, in a decentralised way and next to the point of use, electricity by direct conversion of sunlight, simultaneously serving as coating material for these facades and roofs. These generators feed in to the public power grid any excess of energy generated, and, on the other hand, use the grid as a backup when the power they produce is not enough to meet the building’s demand. In the coming decades, thousands of inhabitants of urban centres around the world will be using this, which is one of the most elegant forms of electricity generation: the roofs and solar facades of Photovoltaic Solar Buildings.