A new article published by project partners MG Sustainable Engineering AB and the University of Gavle is now available in the European Energy Innovation Winter 2022 edition.
Photovoltaic thermal (PVT) collectors are a novel renewable energy technology that combine the capabilities of solar thermal collectors with PV cells. Converting solar light into both electrical and thermal energy therefore collects more solar energy per surface area. Much research has been carried out on such hybrid technology and analysing the effect of different designs on the overall efficiency. However, cell cracking caused by thermal expansion remains a critical issue, which results in lower collector efficiency and can reduce output power performance by 10%. One solution could be to include an aluminium structure between the PV cells and the absorber with a design pattern that can reduce the risk of cell cracking. The approach developed under the EU-funded RES4BUILD project proposes a novel PVT design that decreases thermal stress on the cells. This novel design is called H-Pattern, with an expansion cavity pattern in the shape of the letter ‘H’.
The proposed novel PVT collector, with its optimal balance of performance, cost, and ease of manufacture, has the potential to achieve optimal use of solar energy. The expansion cavities help improve the performance by reducing heat loss and thermal expansion. The proposed H-Pattern with cavities dimension of 2 mm helps to reduce thermal expansion by almost 58% in comparison to a standard PVT collector. It can also reduce heat loss by 5%.
Read the full article here: https://www.europeanenergyinnovation.eu/OnlinePublication/Winter2022/index.html#p=22