A novel model of an air-based building integrated photovoltaic/thermal (BIPV/T) system with pin fins was developed in EnergyPlus V8.0 and was used to determine the improvement, in terms of thermal and electrical energy generation, over an un-finned BIPV/T system. The application of fins onto the internal channel surface will increase heat transfer from the PV panel to the air, which should increase thermal and electrical energy generation. The results from the model suggests that the finned BIPV/T system could produce a substantially greater amount of thermal energy than the un-finned system. However, the increase in electricity generation was minimal. Overall, the applications of fins in BIPV/T systems are effective modifications that will benefit any system that utilizes the thermal energy from the BIPV/T system. This finned BIPV/T model in EnergyPlus will allow users to apply these systems in the simulation of large-scale communities of buildings equipped with such systems.
Papers presented to the 12th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Costa de Sol, Spain on 11-13 July 2016.