Viability Study of the BIPV-PCM Microfacility Under Severe Weather Conditions




Gregory, Amanda F.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Developing new and improved building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) materials that can withstand severe weather is critical to reversing climate change. BIPV coupled with phase change materials (PCM) is a promising technology that is so far not well-studied. Most PCM types that have been investigated are petroleum-based paraffin waxes which are not sustainable in the long term. Furthermore, there are few studies which examine the effects of high temperatures and severe weather on the temperature profile of BIPV-PCM microfacility. This work aims to investigate sustainable PCM incorporated into a small BIPV facility under extreme temperature and varying wind profile. A variety of extreme weather events are simulated to determine what building spacing, PCM type, and PCM thickness have the most significant effect on the temperature profile of the interior of the building. Real-world weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was adopted to reflect increasing ambient temperatures and include more frequent severe weather events. These real-world values were used to determine a realistic set of temperature, solar radiation, and wind speed representing worst-case climate scenarios. Mathematical models for conduction, radiation, convection, and phase change are assembled into a “three-box” model of the BIPV-PCM system, and the steady state solution is found for different BIPV-PCM geometries. The results of the model indicate that thicker PCM and wider channel spacing improve performance most. Although candelilla wax outperforms beeswax and soy wax, no BIPV orientation or sustainable PCM modeled could maintain interior building temperatures below 300K. The two primary reasons that new products such as the BIPV-PCM microfacility fail to gain wide adoption are a lack of a business plan and poorly defined customer segments. This study leverages the business model canvas (BMC) to address these challenging issues and proposes a pathway to facilitate the mass commercialization for the decades to come.



solar, building integrated, severe weather, phase change material, PV, BIPV, PCM, BIPV-PCM


Gregory, A. F. (2023). Viability study of the BIPV-PCM microfacility under severe weather conditions (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


Rights Holder

Rights License

Rights URI