Performance of a Building Integrated Photovoltaic/Thermal Concentrator for Facade Applications
Piratheepan, M; Anderson, TN
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The use of building integrated photovoltaic/thermal (BIPVT) concentrators is an effective way to harness solar energy within the built environment, particularly for façade applications. However, in order to precisely predict the overall performance of building integrated façade collectors it is crucial to have a validated model that represents such systems. In this study, a combined optical and thermal model was developed to describe the performance of a façade integrated BIPVT solar concentrator system and subsequently was validated with a physical prototype. Using the validated model, it was shown that key parameters such as tube spacing, and thermal conductivity between the solar cell and the absorber have a significant effect on the overall efficiency. Finally, it is suggested that façade integrated BIPVT solar concentrator systems would serve as a complement to roof mounted photovoltaic systems, and that this may be a step towards net zero energy buildings.