Performance of a building integrated photovoltaic/thermal (BIPVT) solar collector
Anderson, T. N., Duke, M., Morrison, G. L. & Carson, J. K. (2009). Performance of a building integrated photovoltaic/thermal (BIPVT) solar collector. Solar Energy, 83(4), 445-455.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/3673
The idea of combining photovoltaic and solar thermal collectors (PVT collectors) to provide electrical and heat energy is an area that has, until recently, received only limited attention. Although PVTs are not as prevalent as solar thermal systems, the integration of photovoltaic and solar thermal collectors into the walls or roofing structure of a building could provide greater opportunity for the use of renewable solar energy technologies. In this study, the design of a novel building integrated photovoltaic/thermal (BIPVT) solar collector was theoretically analysed through the use of a modified Hottel–Whillier model and was validated with experimental data from testing on a prototype BIPVT collector. The results showed that key design parameters such as the fin efficiency, the thermal conductivity between the PV cells and their supporting structure, and the lamination method had a significant influence on both the electrical and thermal efficiency of the BIPVT. Furthermore, it was shown that the BIPVT could be made of lower cost materials, such as pre-coated colour steel, without significant decreases in efficiency. Finally, it was shown that by integrating the BIPVT into the building rather than onto the building could result in a lower cost system. This was illustrated by the finding that insulating the rear of the BIPVT may be unnecessary when it is integrated into a roof above an enclosed air filled attic, as this air space acts as a passive insulating barrier.
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: Solar Energy. ©2009 Elsevier.