Papers presented to the 11th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, South Africa, 20-23 July 2015.
The goal of this paper is to obtain the (pair of) efficiency curves of a hybrid PV/T collector with a sheet-and-tube design and to evaluate the effect of a non-uniform temperature distribution on the surface of the solar cell on its electrical power output. A 3-dimensional numerical model is developed to estimate the performance of such a collector. The model allows various design parameters of the PV/T to be varied so that the influence of each of these parameters can be studied on the overall system performance both at steady-state and at varying atmospheric conditions. The main parameters considered are the number of glass covers, ranging from an unglazed collector configuration to a double-glazed collector configuration, and the width-to-pipe diameter (W/D) ratio. The results show that, while the thermal efficiency increases with the additional glazing, the electrical efficiency deteriorates due to the higher temperature of the fluid and due to increased optical losses, as expected. The dynamic performance of the PV/T collector and system are also investigated. Results from the dynamic model and also from a simplified quasi-steady state model are reported. The results show that in the case of highly fluctuating incident radiation, e.g. from clouds, the quasi-steady solution can deviate by up to 20% from the dynamic solution in the evaluation of the thermal energy output in the case of low incident radiation with large fluctuations.