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Performance Analysis of a Photovoltaic-Thermal Integrated System

Author(s): Ewa Radziemska

Journal: International Journal of Photoenergy
ISSN 1110-662X

Volume: 2009;
Date: 2009;
Original page

The present commercial photovoltaic solar cells (PV) converts solar energy into electricity with a relatively low efficiency, less than 20%. More than 80% of the absorbed solar energy is dumped to the surroundings again after photovoltaic conversion. Hybrid PV/T systems consist of PV modules coupled with the heat extraction devices. The PV/T collectors generate electric power and heat simultaneously. Stabilizing temperature of photovoltaic modules at low level is higly desirable to obtain efficiency increase. The total efficiency of 60–80% can be achieved with the whole PV/T system provided that the T system is operated near ambient temperature. The value of the low-T heat energy is typically much smaller than the value of the PV electricity. The PV/T systems can exist in many designs, but the most common models are with the use of water or air as a working fuid. Efficiency is the most valuable parameter for the economic analysis. It has substantial meaning in the case of installations with great nominal power, as air-cooled Building Integrated Photovoltaic Systems (BIPV). In this paper the performance analysis of a hybrid PV/T system is presented: an energetic analysis as well as an exergetic analysis. Exergy is always destroyed when a process involves a temperature change. This destruction is proportional to the entropy increase of the system together with its surroundings—the destroyed exergy has been called anergy. Exergy analysis identifies the location, the magnitude, and the sources of thermodynamic inefficiences in a system. This information, which cannot be provided by other means (e.g., an energy analysis), is very useful for the improvement and cost-effictiveness of the system. Calculations were carried out for the tested water-cooled ASE-100-DGL-SM Solarwatt module.
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