Heliotrop Freiburg, Germany © Rolf Disch Solar Architecture

PV panels

  • Energy: 3
  • Multifunctional space usage: 1
  • Costs: 2
  • Construction costs: 2


The advantage that PV panels offer is that they can be placed at decentralised locations, on roofs and walls. The drawbacks, however, are that their performance depends on the intensity of the insolation and the panels’ orientation and that the technology is currently relatively expensive. Prices have been dropping in recent years, though Siemer (2009) gives rates of €2600/kW-€3500/kW Erhorn-Kluttig et al., 2011.

PV panels come in different models. The performance and yield differ from one type to the next but are determined in all cases by the effective insolation. The effective insolation is based on orientation, angle and the presence of any obstructions.