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Experimental analysis of photovoltaic cogeneration modules (PV/T)


Autore: R. Lazzarin, L. Zamboni

Collana: CA - 62 - Fisciano 2007

Commercial photovoltaic modules have nowadays an efficiency around 12%. It means that 88% of solar radiation is lost. If the active surface is located in an urban environment where the availability of surfaces exposed to the sun is scarce, it is badly used. PV/T cogeneration aims to utilise the same area both for producing electricity and heat. The main problem of this technology is that solar cells are sensitive to temperatures and their efficiency lowers when temperature increases. Therefore heat cannot be collected at high temperatures. Nonetheless if a moderate temperature of heat collection is selected it can be beneficial for electricity production as it can be lower than the equilibrium temperature reached under insolation by a bare panel.
Some problems must then be faced. First the good thermal behaviour of the module studying the best thermal exchange between the solar cells and the channelled plate below. Second the selection of the best working temperature according to the need of the plant served by the solar modules. Finally the selection of the best fluid to remove heat. Water is easier to circulate and distribute but air can be more effective to remove heat from the solar cells. An experimental testing rig was built up in Vicenza to survey electrical and thermal efficiency of some PV/T prototypes to understand working limits and improve the efficiency. Some experimental results are already available.

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