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Improving Thermal and Electrical Efficiency in Photovoltaic Thermal Systems for Sustainable Cooling System Integration

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2018, pp 305-322
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d5.0187
Mohammad Alobaid1 , Ben Hughes1, Dominic O’Connor1, John Calautit2, Andrew Heyes3
1 Energy 2050 Group, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S1 3JD, United Kingdom
2 School of Built Environment, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, United Kingdom
3 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, 16 Richmond Street, Glasgow G11XQ, United Kingdom


Research into photovoltaic thermal systems is important in solar technologies as photovoltaic thermal systems are designed to produce both electrical and thermal energy, this can lead to improved performance of the overall system. The performance of photovoltaic thermal systems is based on several factors that include photovoltaic thermal materials, design, ambient temperature, inlet and outlet fluid temperature and photovoltaic cell temperature. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of photovoltaic thermal outlet water temperatures and solar cell temperature on both electrical and thermal efficiency for different range of inlet water temperature. To achieve this, a mathematical model of a photovoltaic thermal system was developed to calculate the anticipated system performance. The factors that affect the efficiency of photovoltaic thermal collectors were discussed and the outlet fluid temperature from the photovoltaic thermal is investigated in order to reach the highest overall efficiency for the solar cooling system. An average thermal and electrical efficiency of 65% and 13.7%, respectively, was achieved and the photovoltaic thermal mathematical model was validated with experimental data from literature.

Keywords: Solar cooling, Solar collectors, Thermal efficiency, Electrical efficiency, Outlet temperature, Photovoltaic thermal systems, Photovoltaic.

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