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Title: Performance testing of thermal and photovoltaic thermal solar collectors
Authors: Allan, J
Dehouche, Z
Stankovic, S
Mauricette, L
Keywords: Energy;Experimental;Photovoltaic thermal;Solar
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Energy Science & Engineering, 2015, 3 (4), pp. 310 - 326
Abstract: This work details a methodology to characterize the performance of solar thermal and photovoltaic thermal (PVT) collectors using an indoor solar simulator. In this study, several cases have been compared to show that the methodology can be used to extract fundamental performance characteristics from a solar collector. In the first case, a serpentine collector was compared against a header riser collector using the same mass flow rate. It was found that the header riser was less efficient, with a 34% increase in the overall loss coefficient. The experimental results were compared with commonly used empirical models and showed a close agreement. In the second case, the impact on performance of using a polycarbonate cover is presented. The results show that the optical efficiency of the collector is reduced by 12% when using a cover; however, because the loss coefficient is reduced by 53%, the covered collector performs better when there is a large temperature difference between the absorber and the ambient. The third case investigates the combined performance of a PVT collector, that produces both heat and electricity from a single device. By placing photovoltaic (PV) laminates on top of the serpentine absorber, the thermal efficiency is reduced by 15%. When electricity is generated by laminates, the thermal efficiency is reduced by a further 3.5%; this drop in thermal efficiency is a result of the incident radiation producing electricity before reaching the thermal absorber. The combined efficiency of the PVT collectors was compared at controlled inlet temperatures. The serpentine design had the highest combined efficiency of 61% with 8% electricity at the lowest inlet temperature (21°C). The dominant form of loss in the PVT system is temperature driven; as the thermal efficiency decreases, electricity generation makes up a larger percentage of the combined output. This study highlights the potential for manufacturers of bespoke thermal absorbers and PV devices to combine their products into a single PVT device that could achieve improved efficiency over a given roof area.
ISSN: 2050-0505
Appears in Collections:Dept of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering Research Papers

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