2017 - PV and PV/T efficiency assessment
In the last years, the importance of integrating the production of electricity with the production of sanitary hot water led to the development of new solutions, i.e. PV/T systems. It is well known that hybrid photovoltaic-thermal systems, able to produce electricity and thermal energy at the same time with better energetic performance in comparison with two separate systems, present many advantages for application in a residential building.
A PV/T is constituted generally by a common PV panel with a metallic pipe, in which fluid flows. Pipe accomplishes two roles: it absorbs the heat from the PV panel, thus increasing, or at least maintaining its efficiency; furthermore, it stores the heat for sanitary uses.
In this work, the thermal and electrical efficiencies of a commercial PV/T panel have been evaluated during the summer season in different days, to assess the effect of environmental conditions on the system total efficiency. Moreover, infrared thermographic diagnosis in real time has been effected during the operating mode in two conditions: with cooling and without cooling; cooling was obtained by natural flowing water. This analysis gave information about the impact of a non-uniform temperature distribution on the thermal and electrical performance. Furthermore, measurements have been performed in two different operating modes: 1) production of solely electrical energy and 2) simultaneous production of thermal and electrical energy. Finally, total efficiency is largely increased by using a simple solar concentrator nearby the panel.
I Nardi, D Ambrosini, T de Rubeis, D Paoletti, M Muttillo and S Sfarra