BIPV Solar: going green and sustainable in a beautiful way

This is a distinctive case of powering a single-family home with solar energy in Hangzhou, China.

Using solar energy in a home is no stranger to us, and we’ve all heard of solar water heater. But installing solar power for the entire house is still something new here in China.

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to interview a home owner, who is a lawyer, Mr. Zheng. His house is one of the few in Hangzhou that use solar PV tiles. Let’s hear what he has to say.

01 "It needs to be both aesthetically pleasing and energy-efficient."

Mr. Zheng initially was torn between regular PV panel and PV tile — he was worried about damaging the tiles, and that solar panels may look terrible on the villa's roof. "The solar PV tiles installed now are more efficient in generating electricity and can also be integrated into the roof and overall design, so I am quite satisfied with the result." He said cheerfully.

Mr. Zheng’s home in Hangzhou

The most import reason for Mr. Zheng to consider solar PV tiles is high electricity bills.

Right before planning a home renovation in 2017, Mr. Zheng heard that houses of similar size in his neighborhood typically consume more than 1,000 KWH of electricity per month and he may face high electricity bills, which looks like in very high energy consumption; So the decision to install more energy-efficient solar PV tiles was quickly supported by his family.

02 "It’s wonderful to save money every month!"

It has been more than a year since the installation of PV tiles was completed during the Spring Festival in 2018.

The project under construction

We asked Mr. Zheng what the key benefits are of having solar PV tiles installed. He pointed out:

  • Lower electricity costs;
  • Better thermal insulation;
  • Longer product lifespan.

03 “People have become more environmentally conscious and health conscious.”

As there is a hill sitting in the south, the roof of Mr. Zheng’s house receives two hours less of direct sunlight per day, which means he could’ve saved even more money if the roof’s sun exposure were better.

Recent data shows that the 4.5kW PV tiles Mr. Zheng installed generated 7,216 KWH of electricity from May 2018 through February 2020, amounting to 11.25 KWH per day.

Beautiful PV tiles on the roof

In fact, so far it has not been very common for homeowners in China to have solar PV installed. But Mr. Zheng told us, “Economically this is a great choice, especially considering the potential savings solar PV could help achieve.”

What’s your idea of a sustainable house? Healthy, eco-friendly, or energy-efficient? We sure will see more sustainable living features in homes like this across China as we march toward a greener future.


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