Testing of a Cost-effective Photovoltaic Thermal Hybrid Solar Collector Prototype

Polo Lopez, Cristina Silvia and Tenconi, Luca and Lo Castro, Fabio and Brambillasca, Stefano and Virtuani, Alessandro (2012) Testing of a Cost-effective Photovoltaic Thermal Hybrid Solar Collector Prototype. In: Proceedings of the 38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Austin USA 38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, June 3-8, 2012, Austin, Texas .

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Abstract

Today the market is open to new solutions that integrate solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) devices into a single element in order to generate electricity and heat, the so-called photovoltaic thermal (PV/T or PVT) hybrid solar collectors. The PVT modules improve the performance of PV modules keeping the cells cooled, increasing the overall efficiency of the panel. One stand test for hybrid PVT systems in order to develop new solutions and better knowing their performance under real operating conditions was designed. One innovative low-cost prototype of PVT module was developed using pipes of a floor heating system filled with a special brine to cool the PV cells. To improve module design and to check their behavior in typical domestic hot-water systems, two different PVT solutions, but with identical PV modules, were analyzed without the heat transfer system. This first test assessed modules overall performances. The features of two different collector types are also described.

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