Photovoltaic-Thermal Collector System for Domestic Application

[+] Author and Article Information
T. T. Chow1

Division of Building Science and Technology, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, Chinabsttchow@cityu.edu.hk

J. Ji

Department of Thermal Science and Energy Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefai, Anhui, China

W. He

Division of Building Science and Technology, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, China


Corresponding author.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 129(2), 205-209 (Jun 27, 2006) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2711474 History: Received December 16, 2005; Revised June 27, 2006

Photovoltaic-thermal (PV/T) systems integrate photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies into one single system with dual production of electricity and heat energy. A typical arrangement is the direct attachment of PV modules onto a solar thermal collector surface. For a given collector surface area, the overall system energy performance is expected higher than the conventional “side-by-side” PV and solar thermal systems. In the development of PV/T collector technology using water as the coolant, the most common design follows the sheet-and-tube thermal absorber concept. Fin performance of the thermal absorber has been identified as one important factor that affects much the overall energy performance of the collector. Accordingly, an aluminum-alloy flat-box type PV/T collector prototype was constructed and tested in Hong Kong. Our test results indicate that a high combined thermal and electrical efficiency can be achieved. The primary-energy-saving efficiency for daily exposure approaches 65% at zero reduced temperature operation. With a simple and handy design, the product is considered to be very suitable for domestic application.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 2

Front view of the flat-box PV/T collector prototype

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Figure 3

Assembly of aluminum-alloy flow modules

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Figure 4

Variation of incoming global solar radiation on tilted surface with orientation

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Figure 1

Cross-sectional view between two adjacent water tubing in a sheet-and-tube PV/T collector

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Figure 5

PV/T collector performance on Jan. 1 2005 (at 0.117(m2K)∕MJ reduced temperature)

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Figure 6

PV/T collector performance on Sep. 2 2005 (at 1.224(m2K)∕MJ reduced temperature)

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Figure 7

Daily thermal efficiency vs reduced temperature for closed and open circuits at 38 and 20deg tilt angles



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