Where are photovoltaic solar panels installed?
Photovoltaic arrays are often associated with buildings: either integrated into them, mounted on them or mounted nearby on the ground. Photovoltaic solar panels on a house roof.
Arrays are most often retrofitted into existing buildings, usually mounted on top of the existing roof structure or on the existing walls. Alternatively, an array can be located separately from the building but connected by cable to supply power for the building. In 2010, more than four-fifths of the 9,000 MW of solar PV operating in Germany was installed on rooftops. Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are increasingly incorporated into new domestic and industrial buildings as a principal or ancillary source of electrical power. Typically, an array is incorporated into the roof or walls of a building. Roof tiles with integrated PV cells are also common. A 2011 study using thermal imaging has shown that solar panels, provided there is an open gap in which air can circulate between them and the roof, provide a passive cooling effect on buildings during the day and also keep accumulated heat in at night.
The power output of photovoltaic systems for installation in buildings is usually described in kilowatt-peak units (kWp).