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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2019, Article ID 5214150, 17 pages
Review Article

Semitransparent Building-Integrated Photovoltaic: Review on Energy Performance, Challenges, and Future Potential

1Department of Materials and Energy Science and Engineering (MESE), Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), P.O. Box 447, Arusha, Tanzania
2Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, St. Joseph University in Tanzania (SJUIT), P.O. Box 11007, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
3Department of Mechanical Engineering, Arusha Technical College (ATC), P.O. Box 296, Arusha, Tanzania

Correspondence should be addressed to Benedicto Joseph;

Received 4 June 2019; Accepted 3 September 2019; Published 20 October 2019

Academic Editor: Wing-Kei Ho

Copyright © 2019 Benedicto Joseph et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Buildings consume large amounts of energy, and their transformation from energy users to producers has attracted increasing interest in the quest to help optimize the energy share, increasing energy efficiency and environmental protection. The use of energy-efficient materials is among the proposed approaches to increase the building’s energy balance, thus increasing the performance of building facades. Semitransparent building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV), being one of the technologies with the potential to increase a building’s energy efficiency, is considered as a feasible method for renewable power generation to help buildings meet their own load, thus serving dual purposes. Semitransparent BIPV integration into buildings not only displaces conventional building facade materials but also simultaneously generates energy while retaining traditional functional roles. The awareness in improving building energy efficiency has increased as well as the awareness in promoting the use of clean or renewable energy technologies. In this study, semitransparent BIPV technology is reviewed in terms of energy generation, challenges, and ways to address limitations which can be used as a reference for the BIPV stakeholders.