New approaches for cooling photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) systems

Bouzoukas, Asterios (2008) New approaches for cooling photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) systems. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Today the majority of UK's energy needs are met by fossil fuels. An energy sector that uses 30% of this energy and generates 28% of the total emissions is domestic sector. To reduce the emissions generated by fossil fuels UK government decided to increase the energy coming from renewable sources by 2020. A renewable energy that can contribute is solar energy. Solar thermal collectors and photovoltaics are two means of transforming solar energy to thermal and electrical energy.

The limited space in the roofs and the cost of the technologies will prevent families to use both systems together in their roof A hybrid energy system combine the use of two or more alternative power sources will help to increase the system's total efficiency. The photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) system is a hybrid structure that converts part of the sun's radiation to electricity and part to thermal energy.

This research work focuses on the production of new approaches on hybrid PV/T systems. PV/T systems using water and air have been introduced and a literature review conducted in order to identify positives and negatives of these systems. Experiments also conducted by using water and air as heat transfer medium, and the results helped to work as a benchmark performance to the new approaches.

These technologies were heat pipes, phase change materials and micro encapsulated phase change materials. The technologies exist for years but their use in the specific application is new. A literature review was undertaken to provide an understanding of these technologies and identified findings that have contributed to the design of the systems. Experimental work was carried out incorporating these technologies in the rear of a PV and the results indicated comparable performance with PV/T-water and PV/Tair.

Five performance indicators were employed to help with the comparison of the systems. These were electrical and thermal efficiency, the total energy efficiency, the primary energy saving efficiency and the exergy efficiency. From these five indicators the primary energy saving efficiency that shows how much fossil fuel is saved and the exergy efficiency that could give the optimum working conditions of each system was the most valuable ratings.

For the PV/PCM model a new simulation program was developed to help validate the experimental work. Also an environmental and economic study was undertaken to compare if the new systems could help reduce the C02 emissions and if they were feasible to become commercial products.

Finally the conclusions gained have been presented and recommendations fo r future work have been made.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Riffat, S.B.
Wilson, R.
Uncontrolled Keywords:pv/t systems, hybrid systems, pv, photovoltaic, power systems, solar energy, architecture, energy conservation
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Built Environment
ID Code:1148
Deposited By:Mr Tim Jacob
Deposited On:25 Feb 2010 14:52
Last Modified:25 Feb 2010 14:52

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