Excess temperatures in photovoltaic panels may cause degradation in the panels’ electrical performance in short term. Moreover, photovoltaic cells may be damaged in the long term due to high operating temperatures. Therefore, photovoltaic thermal collectors (PVT)s have been proposed in order to solve these issues. PVT collectors allow the cooling of photovoltaic panels by heat extraction using a working fluid such as water or air. PVT collectors provide higher electrical output than standalone Photovoltaic (PV) panels while occupying a smaller area compared to a single solar thermal and a PV panel for the same capacity. In this study, the performance of a liquid cooled flat PVT collector under the climatic conditions of the United Arab Emirates is going to be investigated. The transient system simulation software (TRNSYS) is used to simulate the PVT system. The PVT system includes the PVT collectors, thermal storage tank, electrical storage, DC/AC inverter, pumps, and controllers. The effect of various design variables on the PVT electrical and thermal output is going to be studied. The design variables are the collector azimuth angle, slope of the collector, volume of the storage tank, and water mass flow rate through the PVT collector. The electrical and thermal outputs of the sized PVT system will be compared to that of a standalone PV panel electrical output and a standalone flat plate collector thermal output. Based on the obtained results, conclusions on the feasibility of using PVT collectors, under the weather conditions of the United Arab Emirates, will be deduced.

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