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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

People Mover, Bologna

new construction

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

People Mover, Bologna

Bologna, Italy



Design approach

Aesthetic integration

Energy integration

Technology integration


Producer and installer



The People Mover designed for the city of Bologna is an innovative public transport system that connects the railway station to the airport terminal. The 5 km long infrastructure comprises a monorail, two terminal stations, and an intermediate station. It is the first monorail in Italy with rubber wheels and is electrically powered without a conductor since it is entirely automatic. There are photovoltaic modules on the structure's balustrade for about half of the runway and on the roof of the intermediate station.



Main building designer: 

Iosa Ghini Associati

The design was inspired by distinctive elements of the city and its outskirts, characterised by the typical Po Valley countryside. Therefore, the supporting piers of the track evoke the typical arch structure of Bologna's porticoes, the inclination of the portals on the A14 is reminiscent of that of the 2 towers, and the shape of the stations themselves recalls the archetypal dwellings of the Emilia plain.

The orientation and path of the structures is one of the guidelines of the project concept and was crucial to the arrangement of the photovoltaic modules on the balustrade of the footbridge and the roof of the intermediate station. In the first case, the design concept stems from the need to maximise the energy performance, while in the latter, the station roof is offset so that the modules can be installed on the southwest side. Care for the environment and the rational use of energy resources have therefore inspired architectural elements designed based on their orientation and slope, making them functional yet elegant and well-proportioned. The surface of the expanded steel sheet is connected to the structure, housing the photovoltaic system without disturbing the architecture of the surrounding landscape while maintaining its function as energy generators.


With yearly electricity production of 665 MWh, the BIPV system covers 35% of the complex's energy needs and generates a positive environmental impact of 300 fewer tonnes of CO2. Unlike classic horizontal cableways, the Bologna People Mover is electrically powered with 750 V DC, the same voltage as the city's trolleybus network.

The BIPV modules are integrated in an approximately vertical position on the balustrades of the footbridge and horizontally on the roof of the intermediate station. Attached to a slim, entirely steel construction, they do not compromise the structural system.


Project type: 
Building construction technique: 
Architectural system: 
Canopy, balustrade
Integration year: 
Active material: 
Monocrystalline silicon
Module transparency: 
Modules orientation: 
Modules tilt [°]: 
Around 90, 0
Annual PV production [kWh]: 

Eurac Research