Maximizing solar energy generation: guidelines for optimizing photovoltaic panel placement on building facades

Rabee Reffat, Radwa Ezzat

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This purpose of this paper is to address the research problem of optimizing photovoltaic (PV) panel placement on building facades to maximize solar energy generation. Design/methodology/approach: The study examines the significance of various design configurations and their implications for PV system performance. The research involves analysis of relevant literature and energy simulations. An exemplary case study is conducted in a hot climate zone to quantify the impacts of PV panel placement on energy generation. Various application scenarios are developed, resulting in 28 scenarios for PV on building facades. Energy simulations using Grasshopper Rhino software and Ladybug plugin components are performed. Findings: The paper identifies key factors influencing PV panel placement and energy generation through qualitative analysis. It introduces an appropriateness matrix as a decision-making framework to evaluate placement options. The study identifies design configurations and external features impacting PV location selection and performs a qualitative classification to determine their impact on energy generation. Practical implications: The results and decision-making framework enable informed choices based on solar radiation levels, shading conditions, and building requirements. Optimizing PV panel placement enhances solar energy harvesting in buildings, benefiting architects and engineers. Originality/value: The novel contributions of this paper include practical insights and guidance for strategically placing PV panels on building facades.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV)
  • Data-driven design
  • Energy optimization
  • PV panel placement
  • Shading analysis
  • Solar energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Urban Studies


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