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A showcase of case studies, 
products and tools for IPV

Supported by:

IEA PVPS Task 15 project aims to create an enabling framework to accelerate the penetration of BIPV products in the global market of renewables.

Operazione co-finanziata dall’Unione europea, Fondo Europeo di Sviluppo Regionale, dallo Stato Italiano, dalla Confederazione elvetica e dai Cantoni nell’ambito del Programma di Cooperazione Interreg V-A Italia-Svizzera

Crichton Castle


listed building

Building use: 
IPV integration year: 
between 2016 and 2020
BIPV meets History project

Crichton Castle

Crichton, Pathhead, United Kingdom



Aesthetic integration

Energy integration

Technology integration

Decision making

Lessons learnt


Producer and installer



Dating back to the 14th century, and now under the supervision of Historic Environment Scotland, Crichton Castle is situated in the luxuriant Scottish region of Midlothian, at the head of the River Tyne. In 2019, a new photovoltaic system was installed on the upper part of the castle to replace a previous installation.

Sources: HiberAtlas (I), HiberAtlas (II), Julia Morrison (HES)


IPV components producer: 


Product type: 
Fritz-Müller-Straße 27, Esslingen, Germany
Contact: +49 (0)711-93934998

The photovoltaic modules are not visible from the area surrounding the castle, as they are hidden by the existing parapet. The result is that the historical nature of the castle and the surrounding landscape have not been affected by the works. As the installation is also reversable, it respects the aesthetic aspects of the monument.

The photovoltaic energy produced is used to power the castle’s heating and lighting systems, as the building is not connected to mains electricity. The photovoltaic modules are connected to a series of batteries (13.9 kWh) that can provide up to 26 hours of autonomous power. This is more than sufficient as the castle is open for just 6 hours a day.

The photovoltaic modules (Kyocera) are connected to the level surface of the castle using the pre-existing mounting are connected to the cables present from the previous system. They are more efficient that the modules substituted (22.2%).

Due to its isolated position, Crichton Castle is not connected to mains power. This is why the electricity required to satisfy the energy demands of the building needed to be generated onside. In the past, this was the task of a petrol-fuelled generator, a device that was noisy and polluting, and which required the castle staff to regularly handle inflammable substances. In 2005, the switch was made to photovoltaic technology, which covered the energy demands of the lighting system, a card reader and a fax, but not those of the heating system. For this reason, in 2019 the photovoltaic system was substituted with a larger and more efficient one, almost doubling the available power. The system of batteries was also updated, increasing the storage capacity. The photovoltaic installation at Crichton Castle is in line with the goals of Historic Environment Scotland to increase the energy from renewable sources.

Crichton Castle is an example of photovoltaic energy being introduced in protected areas and can be replicated elsewhere.

The updating of the old photovoltaic system has permitted:

- a significant reduction in the use of the petrol-fuelled generator to power the heating system. The system in use is also due to be modified in order to reduce consumption and adapt it to the availability of solar energy.

- the lighting system to be used for longer periods of time without requiring the use of the generator.

- the installation of an increased number of lighting units throughout the site, which has improved the experience for visitors.

- the powering of a computer and an electric cash register in the office.

Measures were adopted to reduce to a minimum the quantity of waste produced by the project. The materials, modules and batteries substituted were conserved and are available for re-installation on another site, while most of the cabling, which was in good condition, was maintained.


Project type: 
Heritage constraint: 
Building construction technique: 
Coverage of electric consumption [%]: 
Integration year: 
Active material: 
Monocrystalline silicon
Module transparency: 
System power [kWp]: 
System area [m²]: 
Module dimensions [mm]: 
1,427 x 652 x 35.7
Modules orientation: 
Modules tilt [°]: 
IPV components producer: 


Product type: 
Fritz-Müller-Straße 27, Esslingen, Germany
Contact: +49 (0)711-93934998
Crichton, Pathhead, United Kingdom

Eurac Research