Steady state characterization of bifacial solar cells at different configurations of air-based photovoltaic thermal solar panels

P. Ooshaksaraei, K. Aghili, Kamaruzzaman Sopian, Rozli Zulkifli, Saleem H. Zaidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines the first and second law efficiency of bifacial photovoltaic thermal (PVT) solar collectors. A mathematical model was developed to evaluate the system performance. Four air-based bifacial photovoltaic thermal panels were also designed based on the bifacial PV cell requirement. Most of the existing PVT designs contain an absorber plate, which in this research is replaced by a reflector to avoid blocking the rear aperture of bifacial cells. The following four air-based panel configurations were considered: single-path; double-path, parallel; double-path, counter flow; and double-path, returning flow. All four panel designs evaluated based on the first law and second law of thermodynamic, at steady state mode. Energy and exergy efficiencies of aforementioned designs strongly depend on packing factor and air mass flow rate. From an energy point of view (first law), the bifacial photovoltaic thermal panel with two parallel air streams exhibited the best efficiency (51%-67%) compared with that of the other three models. However, the exergy analysis indicated that a single air stream panel is preferable with 4.43%-10.15% exergy efficiency. The single-path panel design is the best option if electrical energy is the dominant desired output energy. But double-path parallel design is the best option if thermal energy is the dominant desired output energy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number033140
JournalJournal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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Solar cells
Exergy
Air
Solar collectors
Thermal energy
Flow rate
Hot Temperature
Thermodynamics
Mathematical models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

Cite this

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title = "Steady state characterization of bifacial solar cells at different configurations of air-based photovoltaic thermal solar panels",
abstract = "This paper examines the first and second law efficiency of bifacial photovoltaic thermal (PVT) solar collectors. A mathematical model was developed to evaluate the system performance. Four air-based bifacial photovoltaic thermal panels were also designed based on the bifacial PV cell requirement. Most of the existing PVT designs contain an absorber plate, which in this research is replaced by a reflector to avoid blocking the rear aperture of bifacial cells. The following four air-based panel configurations were considered: single-path; double-path, parallel; double-path, counter flow; and double-path, returning flow. All four panel designs evaluated based on the first law and second law of thermodynamic, at steady state mode. Energy and exergy efficiencies of aforementioned designs strongly depend on packing factor and air mass flow rate. From an energy point of view (first law), the bifacial photovoltaic thermal panel with two parallel air streams exhibited the best efficiency (51{\%}-67{\%}) compared with that of the other three models. However, the exergy analysis indicated that a single air stream panel is preferable with 4.43{\%}-10.15{\%} exergy efficiency. The single-path panel design is the best option if electrical energy is the dominant desired output energy. But double-path parallel design is the best option if thermal energy is the dominant desired output energy.",
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