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Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 103 (2012) 184193

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Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/solmat

Simulation and model validation of sheet and tube type photovoltaic thermal
solar system and conventional solar collecting system in transient states
Sujala Bhattarai a, Jae-Heun Oh b, Seung-Hee Euh a, Gopi Krishna Kae a, Dae Hyun Kim a,n
a
b

Department of Biosystems Engineering, Kangwon National University, Hyoja 2 Dong, 192-1 Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
Forest Practice Research Center, Korea Forest Research Institute, Jikdong-Ri 51, Soheul-Eup, Pocheon-Si, Gyeonggi-Do 487-821, Republic of Korea

a r t i c l e i n f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:
Received 5 December 2011
Received in revised form
17 March 2012
Accepted 11 April 2012
Available online 22 May 2012

This study presents a one-dimensional mathematical model for simulating the transient processes of
sheet and tube type photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) system and conventional type solar collectors. The
models are based on the energy conservation for the glass cover, PV plate, absorber plate, tube, water in
the tube and storage tank for the PV/T and the same layers excluding PV plate in conventional solar
collector. The models were all rst order ordinary differential equations which could be easily solved in
the Matlab computer program using ode solvers. For the purpose of validating the proposed methods,
performance tests were done on the both systems. Satisfactory convergences were found between the
measured data and calculated results. The statistical analysis was performed for the scientic validation
of the results. The current model is suitable for the single cover tube type PV/T systems.
& 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords:
PV/T system
Conventional solar collector
Simulation and model validation
Performance evaluation

1. Introduction
Rising oil prices and greenhouse gas emissions have stimulated
motivation for the exploration of renewable forms of energy. Solar
energy in the form of solar radiation has been identied as one of
the most promising sources of energy relieve dependency fossil
fuels [1]. Integrated photovoltaic combined thermal systems (PV/
T) are one possibility for harnessing the available solar energy
resources effectively. The PV/T systems are especially attractive
because the absorbed solar radiation is converted into electricity
and heat that can be utilized simultaneously [2]. The efciency of
a solar cell can be improved when it is used simultaneously with a
heat generator [2,3]. Goetzberger et al. [4] reported that the excess
heat of a PV concentrator cell can be used to drive a thermal power
engine, which can also work as a cooling device for the solar cell.
Previous study [57] showed that two PV/T collectors together can
produce more energy per unit surface area than one PV panel and
one thermal collector next to each other. This has high importance
where surface area availability is limited. The main disadvantage
of the PV cell, besides high cost, is the low efciency comes with a
rise in temperature of the PV plate [8]. By cooling the PV module
with a uid stream like air or water, the electricity yield can be
improved. PV/T can be used in private houses, blocks of ats,
tourist areas, hospitals, schools, and for heating water to make it
sanitary.

Corresponding author. Tel.: 82 33 250 6496; fax: 82 33 255 6406.


E-mail addresses: sujalabhattarai@yahoo.com (S. Bhattarai),
daekim@kangwon.ac.kr (D. Hyun Kim).
0927-0248/$ - see front matter & 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.solmat.2012.04.017

Zondag et al. [9,10] developed 1-D, 2-D, and 3-D models to


generate detailed performance data for design improvements of
PV/T systems. They found that the channel-below PV conguration was best from an efciency perspective, and sheet and tube
type designs were found promising for domestic hot water
production. Chow [11] introduced an explicit dynamic model for
analyzing the performance of a single-glazed sheet and tube PV/T
system and found performance was improved when there was
good thermal contact between the encapsulated solar cells and
the absorber plate, as well as between the absorber plate and the
water tubing. Chow et al. [12] reported that the glazed design is
always suitable if either the thermal or overall energy output is to
be maximized. De Vries [13] estimated annual average thermal
efciency of 33% for the combi-panel and 54% for the thermal
collector. Vokas et al. [14] performed theoretical analysis of PV/T
water heating systems and found that the thermal efciency of
the PV/T system was 9% lower than a conventional solar thermal
collector. Sandnes and Rekstad [15] reported that the presence of
solar cells reduces the heat absorption by about 10% of the
incident radiation and the glass cover reduces the optical efciency by around 5%. From the former research, it is known that
the PV/T systems can utilize solar energy more effectively and
have a higher total efciency than common solar collecting
systems, but the extent is unknown.
Accordingly, Cadafalch [16] noticed that the heat transfer
through at plate solar collectors is essentially one dimensional.
The model was an extension of the Dufe and Beckman [17]
lumped model. For the validation of this model, the numerical
and experimental steady-state efciency of a single-glazed

S. Bhattarai et al. / Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 103 (2012) 184193

Nomenclature

ta
b

A
C
c1,c2
d
D
E
G
g
h
k
L
_w
m
m
M
n
Nu
P
R
Ra
Re
RMSE
T
Tm
t
u
W
x
X
Y

surface area (m2)


specic heat capacity (J/kg K)
heat loss terms
difference between measured and predicted value
tube diameter (m)
electrical power output (W/m2)
solar radiation ux (W/m2)
gravitational constant 9.81 (m/s2)
heat transfer coefcient (W/m2 K)
thermal conductivity (W/m K)
Length (m)
mass ow rate (kg/s)
no of data points
mass (kg)
number of tubes
Nusselt number
packing factor, dimensionless
thermal resistance (k/W), refractive index
Rayleigh number
Reynolds number
root mean square error
temperature (1C)
mean temperature (1C)
time (s)
velocity (m/s)
tube spacing (m)
distance (m)
predicted value
measured value

Greek

s
yi

extinction coefcient
Stefan Bolzmans constant, 5.67  10  8(W/m2 K4)
incident angle

at-plate collector was presented. Villar et al. [18] introduced


transient models for the at plate collector. However, the experimental verication was applicable only to steady-state conditions.
Only the efciency of the collector was determined. Fan et al. [19]
presented a numerical and experimental investigation of the ow
and temperature distribution in solar collector panels. Though the
model was simple and coded in Fluent 6.1, the model worked well
only with high mass ow rates.
Analysis of the literature illustrates that the transient models
for PV/T systems and conventional solar heating systems have
been developed and analyzed separately by different researchers,
but no attempt has been made to calculate the comparative
transient history of a solar collector and PV/T system. The
comparative data between PV/T systems and traditional solar
systems is limited. He [20] performed the experiments on PV/T
systems under natural air circulation. In their research, the daily
thermal efciency of the PV/T system was found to be 75% of of
the efciency of a conventional solar thermosyphon collector
system, and the electrical efciency was found to be about 10%,
which was lower than the traditional monocrystalline silicon PV
plate in the same conditions. The primary energy saving efciency
was found to be about 6075%, which was much higher than the
efciency of conventional system.
In the present work, a dynamic model for a sheet and tube
type PV/T system and conventional solar collecting system was

k
n
Y

r
a
A

185

transmittance of glass cover


solar cell temperature coefcient (l/K)
thermal diffusivity (m2/s)
kinematic viscosity (m2/s)
temperature (K)
density (kg/m3)
absorptance
emissivity
thickness (m)
efciency

Superscript

critical

Subscripts
a
ad
c
cell
d,th
e
g
i
in
j
m
o
p
r
t
tk
th
w
wind

ambient air
adhesive layer
collector, convective
solar cell
daily thermal
electrical
glazing
insulation
inlet, initial
jth values
mean
outlet, nal, total
PV plate
radiation, reference
tube
tank
thermal
water
wind induced

developed and veried through the experiments. The experiment


was performed at Kangwon National University, Chuncheon,
South Korea. The aperture area of the PV/T was the same as the
area of a conventional solar collecting system. The effectiveness of
the sheet and tube type PV/T system has been claried by
comparison with the effectiveness of conventional at plate
collectors.

2. Composition of the PV/T system and experiment rig design


2.1. Outline of the PV/T collector
The major components of the PV/T system are PV module and
the solar collector. PV module consists of polycrystalline silicon
cell of ideal conversion efciency 17.8%. The performance specication of the PV module is summarized in Table 1. Sheet and
tube type PV/T systems have the advantages of smaller requirements for water capacity, higher pressure bearing capacity, and
exibility in construction. The sheet and tube PV/T system used in
the present study consists of a thermal absorber, glazing, working
uid, tube, and insulation. Fig. 1(a) and (b) show the front view
and the cross section of the system. The top glazing was separated
from the PV plate by an air gap. Ten copper tubes were attached
to the bottom side of the cupper absorber plate below the

186

S. Bhattarai et al. / Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 103 (2012) 184193

Table 1
Specication of PV cell.
Cell type
Open circuit voltage
Short circuit current
Max. power
Module area
Cell area

Water in

Polycrystalline
37.452 V
8.6289 A
30.709 W
16075.18 cm2
243.36 cm2

Copper tube melded to the


bottom side of absorber plate

Collector frame with glass cover at


the front and thermal insulation
attached to the back surface

current, temperature, solar radiation and wind conditions, were


collected through a data logger and recorded digitally. The
schematic diagram of the experiment rig is given in Fig. 2, and
an image of the experimental setup is shown in Fig. 3.
2.3. Experimental conditions
A PV/T system and conventional at plate collector were
installed in the energy systems laboratory at Kangwon National
University, South Korea, which is located in Chuncheon city at
381N, 1211E. The tilt angles of the PV/T plate and conventional
solar collecting plate were 301. A photo showing orientations of
the each plate is given in Fig. 3.

3. Model development and statistical indicators


3.1. Model development

PV plate above absorber plate

Water out

Glass cover
Air gap
PV plate
Absorber plate
Cupper tube
Insulation

The energy balance equations given by Chow [11] for the sheet
and tube type PV/T system were employed and modied for the
simulation. Simulation was performed using the MATLAB version
7.9.0 (R2009b). The simulation parameters are given in Table 2.
The model was developed with the following assumptions:
a) The mass ow rate of the working uid is the same in all
sections of the tubes.
b) The material properties of the glass, cover, absorber, and the
insulation are constant.
c) All the heat transfer coefcients are computed in real time.
The transients temperatures are evaluated with the help of the
ode15s solver calculated in MATLAB using relations derived from
energy balance equations. For the energy balance in the portion of
the collector shown in Fig. 1(b) with surface area A, length L and
spacing W, the energy balance equations for the glass, PV plate,
absorber plate, tube, water, and storage tank are given below:
3.1.1. Single glass cover

Fig. 1. PV/T solar collector: (a) front view, (b) cross section.

PV plate. A thermal insulation layer made of white glass wool was


attached to the side and bottom surface of the PV/T solar
collector. The water inlet and outlet ends were placed at the
upper and lower traverse tubes (Fig. 1).

Mg C g

dT g
Gag hwind Aag T a T g hgp Agp T p T g hr,ag Aag T a T g
dt
1

Mg, Cg and Tg are the mass, specic heat, and temperature of the
glass cover, respectively. G is the solar radiation falling on the
glass surface at any time, expressed in watts, and A is the area of
the collector [12].
Aag Agp A

2.2. Experiment and measurement of the PV/T system


The PV/T and conventional solar collectors carried thermallyinsulated 60 L water-storage tanks. Thermocouples were inserted
inside each tank with the tip of the probe in the middle of the
tank to measure the storage water temperature. Similarly, thermocouples were placed at the inlet ends of the tube to measure
the water temperature at the inlets and outlets of each collector.
Considering that all of the temperatures measured were in the
range of 0100 1C, K-type thermocouples with accuracy about
70.88 1C were used. The temperature of the water was about 20
80 1C with an error estimation of about 70.88%. The thermocouples were calibrated before the experiments. A constantvoltage system was used for photovoltaic-efciency control.
Weather Stations (Watch Dog 2000 Series Spectrum Technologies,
Inc. Plaineld, IL, USA) measured the solar radiation received by
the solar collector. The system outputs, including the voltage,

"

ag 1ta , ta exp Adg 1

sin2 yi

!#0:5
2

R2 g

ag is the absorptance of glass, and ta is the transmittance of the


glass considering only absorption loss. A is the extinction coefcient, yi is the solar incident angle, and Rg is the refractive index of
the glass cover.
hwind 3ua 2:8

hwind is the convective heat transfer due to wind, and ua is the


wind velocity.
hgp hr gp hc gp

sY2g Y2p Yg Yp
1

1
ep eg 1

hr,ag eg sY2g Y2p Yg Yp

Nua ka

da

S. Bhattarai et al. / Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 103 (2012) 184193

187

Fig. 2. Schematic diagram of experiment rig.

The air properties were calculated at the mean air temperature, i.e., (Tg Tc)/2. The values ba, ka and ua are the coefcient of
thermal expansion, thermal diffusivity, and kinematic viscosity of
air, respectively.
The notation []n in Eq. (5) is dened by [X]n (9X9X)/2. It
implies that, if the quantity is negative, it must be set equal to
zero. y is the critical angle of the collector slope [21].
For the PV plate
Mp C p

dT p
Gap E hgp Agp T g T p hcp Acp T c T p hpt Apt T t T p
dt
8

Mp, Cp, and Tp are the mass, specic heat, and temperature of PV
plate cover, respectively, where

ta tp ap

ap



Do
Acp A 1
W

Fig. 3. Picture of conventional collector (left) and PV/T (right) systems.

where, hgp is the sum of radiative and convective heat transfer


coefcients between the glass plate and the PV plate. hr,ag is the
radiative heat transfer coefcient between the glass cover and the
surroundings. s is the Stefan Boltzmann constant, Yg and Yp are
the glass and PV plate temperature in Kelvin, Yp and Yg is the
emissivity of the PV plate and the glass, Nua is the Nauselt numer,
ka is the air thermal conductivity, and da is the thickness of the air
gap between the glazing and the PV plate.
To determine the Nausselt number, the equation given by
Hollands et al., 1976 [21] [16] was used:
)

n (
1708
1708sin1:8 y1:6
Nua 1 1:44 1
1
Rada cos y
Rada cos y
"
1=3 #n
Rada cos y
1 0 o Rada r 105
6

5830

kad

dad

10

hcp is the conductive heat transfer coefcient between the


collector and the PV plate. [11]
hpt Apt

dp L
xp =2kp dad dp =kad D0

11

here, hpt is the conductive heat transfer coefcient between the


PV plate and the tube. Do is the outer diameter of the tube and kad
and dad are the thermal conductivity and thickness of the
adhesive layer, respectively. kp and dp are the thermal conductivity and thickness of the PV plate, and L is the length of the tube. tp
and r are the transmittance of glass considering only reection
loss and reectance of glass for diffuse radiation respectivel, and
ap is the absorbity of the plate.
W
4

12

W is the tube spacing.

g ba T p T g da
ka va

hcp

xp

where, Ra is the Rayleigh number dened as


Ra

11ap r

E GpZcell

13

188

S. Bhattarai et al. / Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 103 (2012) 184193

Table 2
Data used for simulation.
Glazing

Aperture area (m2)


Density (kg/m3)
Emissivity
Extinction coefcient (/m)
Refractive index
Specic heat (J/kg)
Thickness (m)

2
2200
0.88
26
1.5
670
0.004

Area of cell (m2)


Packing factor
Temperature coefcient (%)
Reference cell efciency (%)

1.607
0.804
0.4057 0.015
17.3

Absorptance of collector (%)


Density of plate(kg/m3)
Emissivity
Thickness of plate (m)
Thermal conductivity (W/m K)

957 2
2702
57 3
0.0002
310

Diameter of tube (m)


Density of tube (kg/m3)
Length of tube (m)
No of tubes
Specic heat of tube (J/kg K)
Spacing of tubes (m)
Thickness of tube (m)
Tube material

0.00952
2702
1.916
10
903
0.1
0.0009
Copper

Density of insulation (kg/m3)


Specic heat of insulation (J/kg K)
Thermal conductivity (W/m K)

20
670
0.034

di

Storage tank capacity (L)


Thickness of insulation material (m)

60
0.030

_w
m

Mass ow rate (kg/m3)

0.5

rg
eg
L
Rg
Cg

dg
PV plate
P

br

Zr
Absorber plate

ac
rc
ec
dc
K

Tube

Do

rt
L
N
Ct
W

dt

Insulation

ri
Ci
ki

Storage tank

Others

Mtk

Zcell Zr 1br T p T r 

14

E is the electrical energy; P is the ratio of the cell area to the collector
is the electrical
area also known as the packing factor, and Zcell
efciency of the solar cell. Electrical efciency of the solar cell
depends upon the reference cell efciency (Zr) at a reference
operating temperature (Tr) and temperature coefcient (br).

Mt, Ct and Tt are the mass, specic heat, and temperature of tube,
respectively. hit is the convective heat transfer coefcient between
the tube and the insulation; htw is the average convective heat
transfer coefcient between the tube and the water.
1
1

htw Atw
hw pDi L
Di is the internal diameter of the tube.

3.1.2. Absorber plate

Atw pDi L
dT c
hcp Acp T p T c hct Act T t T c hci Aci T i T c
Mc C c
dt

15
Ait

Mc, Cc and Tc are the mass, specic heat and temperature of the
collector plate, respectively.
hct

2kc
,
xc

xc



WDo
,
Aci A
W
hci

2ki

di

WDo
4
Act dc L

20

16

p
2


1 D0 L

21
22

For an insulation layer with di cDo , hit hci.


The convective heat transfer coefcient (hw) can be determined using the Dittus Boelter equation for fully developed
turbulent ow [11].

17
3.1.4. Insulation
18

hct and hci are the conductive heat transfers between the collector
and tube and the collector and insulation, respectively.
3.1.3. Tube
dT t
Mt C t
hct Act T c T t hit Ait T i T t htw Atw T w T t hpt Apt T p T t
dt

19

Mi C i

dT i
hci Aci T c T i hit Ait T t T i hai AT a T i
dt

23

Mi, Ci and Ti are the mass, specic heat, and temperature of the
insulation material, respectively.
1
d
1
i
hai
2ki hag

24

hai is the conductive heat transfer coefcient between the insulation and the air.

S. Bhattarai et al. / Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 103 (2012) 184193

3.1.5. The water in the tube

Mw C w

dT w1
_ w C w T wo T w2
htw Atw T t T w1 m
dt

25

Mw, Cw and Tw are the mass, specic heat, and temperature of


water in the tube, respectively.
T w1

T wo T w2
2

26

_ w was the mass ow rate of water in the tube. The temperature


m
of the water in the tube was considered as the average of the inlet
and outlet water temperature in the tube.
3.1.6. Storage tank

M tk C tk

dT tk
_ w nC w T tk,i T tk,o htk Atk T a T tk
m
dt

27

Mtk, Ctk and Atk are the weight, specic heat capacity, and surface
area of water in the storage tank; n is the total number of tubes;
Ttk,i and Ttk,o are the tank inlet and outlet temperatures; htk is the
overall heat transfer coefcient of the storage tank.
The following energy balance equations were employed for the
modeling of the conventional collector. The simulation was
performed using the Matlab 7. 9. 0. (R2009b). The simulation
parameters are given in Table 2.

189

including the root mean square error (RMSE). It follows the dimension of the predicted quantities:
0
11=2
m
X
1
2
RMSE1 @
d A
35
mj1 j
dj is the deviation between the jth measured and the predicted
values, and m is the number of data points. The results are better
with lower values of RMSE1. Its disadvantage is that a few large
errors in the sum can produce a signicant increase of RMSE1. To
cope with the problem, [22,23] employed a relative root mean
square normalized deviation:
0
11=2
m  2
dj A
1X
@
RMSE2
36
m j 1 Yj
where, Yj is the jth measured value.
Accordingly, the third indicator, R-squared, is a statistical
measure of how well a predicted line approximates measured
data:
2
32
!
!
!
6
7
m
m
m
P
P
P
6
7
m
Xj Y j 
Xj
Yj
6
7
6
7
j1
j1
j1
6
7
R-squared 6v
2
3
2
3
7
u
!
!
2
2
6u
7
m
m
m
m
P 2
P
P
P 2
6u
7
4t4m
X 
X j 54m
Y 
Y j 55
j1

j1

j1

j1

a) Single glass cover


Mg C g

dT g
Gag hwind Aag T a T g hgc Agc T c T g hr,ag Aag T a T g
dt

28
where,
hgc hr gc hc gc

sY2 g Y2 c Yg Yc Nua ka

1=ec 1=eg 1
da

37
where, Xj is the jth predicted value. An R-squared value equal
to 1 implies that the model provides perfect prediction, and
0 implies that there is no relationship between the measured
and predicted value.

29
4. Performance assessment

b) For the absorber plate


Mc C c

dT c
Gac hgc Agc T p T c hct Act T t T c hci Aci T i T c
dt
30

4.1. EN 12975 standard steady state efciency measurement


The EN 12975 standard for steady state testing was used for
the simulation. The basic equation for the steady-state model for
near normal incidence angle operation can be written as:

c) For the tube


dT t
Mt C t
hct Act T c T t hit Ait T i T t htw Atw T w T t
dt

Zth Zo c1
31

32

e) Water in tube
Mw C w

dT w1
_ w C w T wo T w2
htw Atw T t T w1 m
dt

33

f) Storage tank
M tk C tk

dT tk
_ w nC w T tk,i T tk,o htk Atk T a T tk
m
dt

38

where the thermal efciency of the collector can be calculated


using the relation:

d) Insulation
dT
M i C i i hci Aci T c T i hit Ait T t T i hai AT a T i
dt

T m T a
T m T a
c2
G
G

34

3.2. Statistical indicators


A number of statistical indicators have been proposed and used
to evaluate the models. Stone [22] discussed several indicators

Zth

_ w C p T o T in
m
GA

39

here, Zo is the zero loss efciency for global radiation at normal


incidence, and Tm is the mean temperature of the heat transfer uid,
which is the average of the inlet (Tin) and outlet temperatures (To). Ta
is the air temperature, G is the global radiation in W/m2, and c1 and
c2 terms that describe the temperature-dependent heat losses. The
test runs have been performed in agreement with the guidelines of
the EN 12975-2 standard, apart from the measurement of the wind
speed. The test was done for 5 sunny days. The following measurements have been acquired: global irradiance on the collector plane,
inlet and outlet uid temperature in the collectors, surrounding air
temperature, and uid ow rate. The surrounding air speed was
measured on the side of the test rig; the values were consistent,
between 0 m/s and 1.3 m/s. In the present data, the effect of the
wind speed is reduced as compared to the test requirements given
by EN 12975-2 and therefore comparable to the condition of
negligible surrounding air speed [24]. The working uid ow rate

190

S. Bhattarai et al. / Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 103 (2012) 184193

was set at 0.022 kg/s m2. Each experimental point was obtained by
setting a constant uid temperature at the inlet of the collectors.
4.2. Daily performance evaluation
The daily average efciency is one of the effective test methods
to describe the thermal performance of the PV/T system and the
conventional solar water collector. The thermal performance of
the solar collectors is affected by weather conditions such as solar
radiation, ambient temperature, and wind conditions. The daily
thermal efciency of the PV/T system can be calculated as
follows:

Zd,th

Mw C w T o T in
P
Ac
Gt  3600

40

where, Mw is the water storage capacity which was measured as


30 kg/m2. Cw is the specic heat capacity of water; To and Tin are
the outlet and inlet water temperatures, respectively; Ac is the
collector area; and G(t) is the solar radiation at time t.
The PV/T performance can be evaluated by using the term total
efciency (Zo) [2527],

Zo Zd,th PZe

to 6:00 p.m. The climatic parameters are shown in Fig. 4. The


measurements were recorded at 10-min intervals. The experimental and simulation results of the change in water temperature
in relation to the tanks are displayed in Fig. 5. The water
temperature in the storage tank of the PV/T system ranged from
24.2 1C to 70.68 1C (measured) and 24.2 1C to 69.51 1C (predicted)
(Fig. 5). The optimum deviation between the maximum value of
predicted and measured values was no more than 1.17 1C. The
simulation results matched well with the measured data as
shown in Fig. 5. The RMSE1, RMSE2 and R-squared values were
obtained as 0.8164, 0.0159, and 0.9982, respectively, in the PV/T
system as shown in Fig. 6(a).
Accordingly, in the conventional system, storage tank water
temperature increased from 24.5 1C to 84.2 1C (measured) and
24.5 1C to 84.95 1C (predicted), which is shown in Fig. 5. The
optimum deviation between measured and predicted storage
tank temperatures differed no more than 0.75 1C, and there was
no apparent bias between the predicted and the measured storage
tank temperatures (Fig. 5). It can be seen that the simulation
results matched well with the measured data (Fig. 5). The RMSE1,

41

where, Zd,th and Ze are the daily thermal and electrical efciency
of the PV/T system. P is the packing factor, which is dened as the
ratio of the cell area to the collector area. Similarly, primary
energy saving efciency Zf is used as the performance metric for
the PV/T system [2527]:

Zf Zd,th

P Ze
Zpower

42

where; an Zpower value of 38% is the electrical power generation


efciency of a conventional thermal power plant.

5. Results and discussion


5.1. Model validation
The numerical models were validated by comparing the
simulation results with the one-day measured data collected
from the experimental rig during on 8/31/2011 from 8:00 a.m.

Fig. 5. Comparison of calculated and measured temperature of water in the


storage tanks of PV/T and conventional solar collecting system (08/31/2011).

Fig. 4. Weather parameters (2011/8/31): (a) solar irradiance, (b) air temperature, (c) wind speed, (d) relative humidity.

S. Bhattarai et al. / Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 103 (2012) 184193

191

Fig. 6. Measured and predicted storage tank water temperature: (a) conventional system, (b) PV/T collector.

Table 3
Statistical indicators for the conventional and PV/T solar collectors.
Statistical indicators

Conventional solar collector

PV/T solar collector

RMSE1
RMSE2
R-squared

1.0262
0.0230
0.9989

0.8164
0.0159
0.9982

800 W/m2 solar radiation, 1 m/s air speed, and 30 1C air temperature. The predicted thermal efciency of the PV/T system is
shown in Fig. 8(a). The predicted thermal efciency model of
the PV/T system, derived from Fig. 8(a), is represented in Eq. (44).
The predicted zero loss efciency (Zo) and the heat losses
coefcients c1 and c2, were found to be 0.574, 7.41, and 0.0023,
respectively, (Eq. (44)).

Zth 0:5747:41
RMSE2 and R-squared values were obtained as 1.026, 0.023, and
0.9955, respectively, as shown in Table 3.
The predicted temperatures of the glass, absorber plate, water
in the tube, PV cell, and insulation temperature of both the
conventional and PV/T systems are shown in Fig. 7. It can be
seen that the absorber plate and the cell temperatures of the PV/T
system were very similar (Fig. 7). This shows that there was good
heat transfer between the solar absorber and the PV plate. At
around 4:00 p.m., the tube temperature crossed the absorber
temperature in both systems. This was due to the high thermal
storage capacity of water. As the solar radiation went down,
absorbers lost heat energy at a faster rate than the water in the
tube. The tube was in full contact with the water so it was
primarily inuenced by the water temperature (Fig. 7).

T m T a
T m T a
0:0023
G
G

There was good agreement between the measured and predicted thermal efciencies although for higher inlet temperatures,
the model under-predicted the thermal efciency. The measured
electrical efciency of the PV/T system is shown in Fig. 8(b). The
measured electrical efciency model derived from Fig. 8(b) is
executed in Eq. (45).

Ze 0:13690:477

Zth 0:58877:0524

T m T a
T m T a
0:0269
G
G

43

Similarly, a simulation was done to predict the steady state


efciency of the PV/T collector. The efciency was calculated at

T in T a
G

45

A simulation was performed to predict the electrical efciency


of the PV/T system. The efciency was calculated at 800 W/m2
solar radiation, 1 m/s air speed, and 30 1C of air temperature. The
predicted electrical efciency of the PV/T system is shown in
Fig. 8(b). The predicted electrical efciency model derived from
Fig. 8(b) is presented by Eq. (46).

5.2. Performance assessment


5.2.1. Efciency calculations at steady state conditions
Fig. 8 shows the thermal efciency curves for both PV/T and
conventional solar collectors. The efciency curves were derived
from EN 12975 standards for the PV/T system and ASHRAE 93
standards for the conventional solar collector. The measured
thermal efciency model of the PV/T system, derived from
Fig. 8(a), is shown in Eq. (43). The measured zero loss efciency
(Zo) and the heat loss coefcients c1 and c2 were found to be
0.5887, 7.0524, and 0.0269, respectively, (Eq. (43)).

44

Ze 0:13710:518

T in T a
G

46

Good agreement was found between the measured and predicted electrical efciencies of the PV/T system, although for
higher inlet temperatures, the model under-predicted the electrical efciency.
The measured thermal efciency model of the conventional
solar collector is represented by Eq. (47).

Zth 0:71554:673

T in T a
G

47

The standard thermal efciency data of a conventional solar


collector was obtained from Korean Laboratory accreditation
scheme Testing No. 203, KIER -104010. Due to variable weather
parameters, it was impossible to do the efciency measurement

192

S. Bhattarai et al. / Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 103 (2012) 184193

Fig. 7. Calculated temperature of the different layers of PV/T and conventional collector systems.

Fig. 8. Measured and predicted: (a) thermal, (b) electrical efciency of the PV/T
system.
Fig. 9. Measured thermal efciency of the PV/T system and conventional system.

of the conventional solar collecting system. In order to plot the


En12975 test results of the PV/T thermal efciency tests as a
function of Tin instead of Tm, multiple linear regressions were
done using Tin instead of using Tm. The efciencies of the
conventional solar collecting system and the PV/T system in
terms of Tin are shown in Fig. 9.
The thermal efciency of the PV/T system under zero reduced
temperature conditions was found to be 58.87%, with a corresponding electrical efciency of 13.69% (Fig. 8). The sum of
thermal and electrical efciency under these conditions was
found to be 72.56%. At zero reduced temperature, the sum of
the electrical efciency and thermal efciencies of the PV/T
system was found to be higher than that of the conventional
system. Thus the result is very much encouraging, considering the
simple design and dual application of the PV/T system.

5.2.2. Performance comparison of PV/T and conventional collectors


The comparative performances of PV/T and conventional solar
collecting systems are tabulated in Table 4. The measured and

predicted daily performance of PV/T systems and conventional


solar heating systems at 30 kg/m2 were very similar. The standard
storage capacity for the solar water heating system is 75 kg/m2
[2527]. For the purpose of comparison under standard storage
conditions, the performance of the PV/T and conventional solar
collector was also calculated for a storage capacity of 75 kg/m2 as
shown in Table 4. The performance of the solar collecting system
was improved with an increase in storage capacity from 30 kg/m2
to 75 kg/m2 (Table 4). The predicted daily thermal efciency, total
efciency, and energy saving efciency at 75 kg/m2 storage
capacity were found to be 46.5%, 57.4% and 75.0%, respectively,
for the PV/T system, whereas for conventional system each
efciency was found to be 64.8%. In terms of total efciency, the
conventional solar collecting system was more efcient; however,
the energy saving efciency was 16% higher in the PV/T system
compared to the conventional solar collecting system. Similar to
our results, He et al. [20] reported primary energy saving
efciencies of 6075% in the PV/T system.

S. Bhattarai et al. / Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 103 (2012) 184193

193

Table 4
Daily efciencies of the conventional solar collector and PV/T system.
S. N Collector type

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Storage capacity Daily total solar radiation Ta (1C) Water temperature in tank (1C)
M (kg/m2)
(MJ/m2 day) 31/8/2011
Initial
Final

Conventional solar collector 30


PV/T
30
Conventional solar collector 30
PV/T
30
Conventional solar collector 75
PV/T
75

20.69
20.69
20.69
20.69
20.69
20.69

6. Conclusions
In this paper, the comparative performance of PV/T systems and
conventional solar collecting systems was studied through simulation and experiments. The thermal efciency of the PV/T and
conventional solar collecting systems were 58.70% and 71.50%,
respectively, under steady state conditions. The electrical efciency
of the PV/T system was found to be 13.69%. The daily thermal
efciency of the conventional solar collector was almost 18% higher
than that of the PV/T system, but the primary energy saving
efciency of the PV/T system was around 16% higher than that of
the conventional solar collecting system. The thermal models of the
PV/T and conventional solar collecting systems were in good
agreement with experimental results. The developed model could
be used for the design and performance estimation of PV/T systems.
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