Overview of design issues in product-integrated photovoltaics

Georgia Apostolou, Angèle H.M.E. Reinders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an overview of the design features and characteristics of photovoltaic (PV)-powered products based on a literature study on product-integrated PV and an analysis of 90 PV-powered products executed during 2011-2013. The aim of this paper is to provide insight into the current knowledge of PV products regarding their basic design issues. It is noticeable that PV technology is applicable to many product categories, for indoor or outdoor use, of various power levels ranging from 1mW for consumer products up to hundreds of kilowatts for solar airplanes. The main findings show that 14% of the products analyzed are used indoors, whereas 67% are used outdoors. Examples are given concerning the environmental impact of PIPV and users' interactions with them. It is expected that more PV products will emerge in the following years, such as sensors, micro-energy harvesting systems, and lighting products, the latter in particular for outdoor use. Success in this field is important to reduce the environmental impact of batteries used in products. Furthermore, it might be relevant to design products suitable for different user profiles, targeting a higher product performance according to a specific user context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-242
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Batteries
  • Consumer electronics
  • Human factors
  • Photovoltaics
  • Product integration


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