The quest to improve access to power and thus boost national productivity has received a positive response with the partnership between Niteo Limited, an indigenous power integration firm and Green Glass Africa, Germany, to provide Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) across Nigeria. BIPV is an innovative customized solution that enables the integration of Solar Modules into building facades, rooftops, wall cladding, bus shelters and gatehouses among others facilities producing electrical power in addition to the aesthetic enhancements.
This solution is a welcome development especially in urban areas such as Nigeria State Capitals where there is a current trend of utilizing glass for curtain walls of buildings and reduction in space availability. With BIPV, every available space on building wall claddings, rooftops, bus shelters, factories and warehouses now have the capacity to generate power.
Speaking at the inaugural BIPV seminar in Lagos Nigeria at the weekend, Engr. Adedayo Afolabi, Managing Partner, Niteo Limited, revealed that solar solutions are all about harnessing the power of the sun to produce electrical energy. He stated that while challenges are a part of life, the secret of progress is to understand how to spot and take advantage of the opportunity inherent in challenges. Nigeria, he noted, has power challenges which solar solutions can tackle effectively because of the sheer amount of sunlight available everyday. With climate change as a growing source of concern, the increasing use of solar solutions, particularly BIPV, will help Nigeria positively reduce its carbon footprint and avert environmental disaster.
Kevin Noukam Tiangueu, Co-CEO, Green Glass Africa, in his presentation provided an in-depth exposition of the BIPV technology, its application in real-life projects, with relevant case studies and ROI calculations.
According to Kevin, “With BIPV, the target is to transform every building to a power generating set so that each building or structure essentially powers itself.” He noted that the real advantage of the BIPV is that it can be customized based on the customer’s application, specifications and available space. The bespoke product can be designed based on the size and shape of the available space, or the colour preferences of the customer.
The solar power startup expert explained that BIPV is flexible, so much so that the customer’s goals and ideals can be integrated into the design to improve the outlook. BIPV is a multifunctional product with constructive, architectural, aesthetic and power generation functions and capabilities. He revealed that another advantage of the BIPV is that it is fire resistant class A, making it a good construction material for buildings.
Igor Mbakom Tchiengang, Co-CEO, Green Glass Africa noted that BIPV is a solution for Africa. He said that BIPV is versatile, with immense potential and suitable for a variety of projects. BIPV can completely or partially replace building material in addition to generating power, improving transparency and efficiency.
On the product lifespan, he noted that BIPV has a lifespan of 25 years before the commencement of degradation. Working with Niteo Limited, customers will get top-of-the-range after-sales support and service, he stated.
The Managing Partner, Niteo Limited remarked that the existing PVs do not have the functionality of BIPV. BIPV, he posited, may well be the future of solar installation and indeed building construction in Nigeria within a short time. He called on architectural services providers and renewable energy enthusiasts to explore the incredible potential of BIPV.