# A Numerical Investigation of PVT System Performance with Various Cooling Configurations

^{1}

^{2}

## Abstract

**:**

## 1. Introduction

_{2}, Al

_{2}O

_{3}and CuO) with different concentrations in the base fluid (water). The results showed that the CuO nanofluid had the highest thermal conductivity. It was found that the highest efficiency was obtained for the CuO nanofluid plus air compared to water plus air, nanofluid and water. The performances of the bi-fluid system PVT (water-air) and the PVT water system are presented using a numerical model developed by El Manssouri et al. [18]. The analysis showed that the bi-fluid system PVT has a higher thermal efficiency than the water-based system PVT. However, the electrical efficiency of the two configurations does not seem to differ. Viet et al. [19] developed a numerical simulation program to evaluate and compare four PVT module models in terms of exergy and energy efficiency. The first model consists of an air duct above the PV cell and a spiral water pipe below the cell, the second model consists of an air duct above the PV cell and a parallel water pipe below the cell, the third model consists of spiral water pipes below the cell, and the fourth model consists of parallel water pipes below the cell. The results show that the first model has the highest thermal efficiency of 54.85% and the highest energy and exergy efficiencies of 57.85% and 15.67%, respectively. The third model has the highest electrical efficiency of 13.67%. Charalambous et al. [20] classified the PVT system into two categories: conventional and advanced systems PVT. The conventional PVT system is classified into air, water, and air-water based on the type of heat transfer medium [20,21,22]. The advanced PVT system is classified based on the heat transfer techniques for nano-liquid, refrigerant, phase change material (PCM), concentrated and heat pipe integration of PVT systems with different infrastructure. Fuentesa et al. [23] compared the actual performance of the PVT system with that of a PV-only system. Their results showed that the commercial PVT has lower performance (${\eta}_{elec.}=15.3-18.2\%$) than PV (${\eta}_{elec.}=16.1-19.1\%$) and thermal systems separately. Souliotis et al. [24] found that the maximum electrical efficiency is 13.5% and the maximum thermal efficiency is 57% when the cooling water temperature is reduced. Rejeb et al. [14] developed a model for PVT systems and studied the effects of solar intensity, water temperature, and number of glass covers on thermal and electrical efficiency. It was found that the maximum electrical and thermal output were 8119 kWh/m

^{2}and 49.44 kWh/m

^{2}, respectively. Joshi et al. [25] studied the performance of PVT air collectors and found that the instantaneous total energy and total energy efficiency ranged from 12–15% and 55–65%, respectively. Fakouriyan et al. [26] studied the performance of PVT system under real weather conditions with water as coolant. The results show that the efficiency of the PV system without cooling water is 10.9%; with cooling water, the total efficiency of energy, thermal energy and electrical energy are 61.7%, 49.4% and 12.3%, respectively. A numerical and experimental study was conducted by Omer et al. [27]. They found that the total efficiency of the PVT system with a glass cover is 7% higher than the total efficiency without a glass cover. Mingke et al. [28] demonstrated a photovoltaic-photo thermal-radiative cooling system (PV-PT-RC) that can generate electrical and thermal energy with a total efficiency of 40.4% to 56.9% and provide 2.90 MJ of chilled water during the day. Manokar et al. [29] presented a review of solar distillation systems using PVT collectors and found that the daily production is 6–12 kg/m

^{2}. Finally, a hybrid PVT system produces more thermal and electrical energy than the same area covered partly with PV only and partly with a thermal collector only. This is the main advantage of the PVT collector according to Zondag et al. [30].

## 2. PVT System Details

- Two fluids are used to cool the PV panel, one on top and one on bottom.
- Air is on the top side, and water is on the bottom side. (Pattern 1)
- Air is present on both the top and bottom sides. (Pattern 2)
- One fluid (water or air) is used as coolant for PV panel.
- Air is on the top side. (Pattern 3)
- Air is on the bottom side. (Pattern 4)
- Water is on the bottom side. (Pattern 5)

## 3. Mathematical Model

#### 3.1. Energy Model

_{pv}= 25 °C and s = 1000 W/m

^{2}

#### 3.2. Exergy Model

## 4. Solution Method

## 5. Results

#### 5.1. Validation of Current Model

#### 5.1.1. Comparison of Efficiencies

^{2}), and air flow rate (0.008 kg/(s·m

^{2}). The maximum deviation between the present work and Oussama [18] is 6.8%.

^{2}) and weather conditions in Table 1.

#### 5.1.2. Comparison of Panel Temperatures

#### 5.1.3. Comparison of Outlet Water Temperatures

#### 5.2. Model Results

#### 5.2.1. Specification of PV Module

#### 5.2.2. Comparison Cooling Configurations

^{3}·K) compared to the heat capacity of water (4184 kJ/m

^{3}·K), so the water can efficiently absorb heat from the panel. Second, the temperature of the panel depends on the operating conditions, such as the inlet temperature and the flow rate of the fluid.

#### 5.2.3. Effect of Water Flow Rate on PVT System

#### 5.2.4. Effect of Solar Intensity

^{2}) on average panel temperature, total energy efficiency, and efficiency of total exergy are presented in Figure 20

#### 5.2.5. Effect of Ambient Temperature

## 6. Conclusions

- The best cooling system is using water at the bottom of the panel (pattern 5), followed by using air at the top of the panel and water at the bottom of the panel, and the worst is using air at the bottom and top of the panel (pattern 2). The average panel temperature of pattern 5 is 21 °C lower than the average panel temperature of pattern 2.
- The highest efficiency of total energy is achieved with 90% when water is used as coolant at the bottom of the panel and air at the top (pattern 1); 34% is the lowest efficiency of total energy when air is used as coolant at the bottom of the panel (pattern 4).
- The performance of the PVT system was improved by increasing the water flow rate up to 0.05 kg/s. Above 0.05 kg/s, the improvement is insignificant.
- An increase in solar radiation has no effect on the performance of the PVT system.
- Increasing the ambient temperature will increase the collector temperature, decreasing the electrical energy efficiency by up to 13.5% but increasing the total energy efficiency in the PVT system by up to 90%.

## Funding

## Data Availability Statement

## Conflicts of Interest

## Nomenclature

A | Area (m^{2}) | Subscripts | |

D | Diameter | a | Air |

Cp | Specific heat of fluid (J/kg·K) | amb | Ambient |

$\dot{\mathrm{E}}$ | Electric Power (W) | conv | Convection |

$\dot{\mathrm{E}\mathrm{x}}$ | Exergy | eff | Effective |

h | Coefficient of heat transfer (W/m^{2}·K) | f1 | Fluid 1 |

i | interval | el | Electrical |

$\dot{\mathrm{m}}$ | Flow rate of mass (kg/s) | f2 | Fluid 2 |

k | Thermal conductivity (W/m·K) | g | Glass cover |

Nu | Nusslet number | h | Hydraulic |

P∗ | Power (W) | in | Input |

Pr | Prandtl number | ins | Insulation |

PV | Photovoltaic panel | loss | loss |

PVT | Photovoltaic thermal | max | Maximum |

q | Heat transfer per unit area (J/m^{2}) | out | Outlet |

s | Specific entropy (J/kg·K) | pl | plate |

Re | Reynolds number | pv | Photovoltaic unit |

t | Time (s) | rad | radiation |

T | Temperature (K) | ref | Reference |

th | Specific enthalpy (J/kg) | t | Time |

x | Interval of length (m) | th | Thermal |

V | Velocity (m/s) | W | Wind |

w | Width (m) | w | Water |

Greeks | |||

α | Absorptivity | ||

η | Energy Efficiency | ||

ρ | Density (kg/m^{3}) | ||

ζ | Exergy efficiency | ||

σ | Stefan-Boltzmann constant (W/m^{2}·K^{4}) | ||

ε | Emissivity | ||

μ | Dynamic viscosity (kg/m·s) | ||

ᵟ | Thickness (m) | ||

τ | Transmissivity of glass cover |

## Appendix A

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**Figure 1.**Various PVT patterns (

**a**) cooling with two fluid (

**b**) cooling with one fluid below the panel (

**c**) cooling with one fluid above the panel.

**Figure 5.**Comparison of the thermal-electrical efficiency of the present work and Vielt [19].

**Figure 11.**Hourly variations in ambient temperature and solar intensity (

**a**) during Winter day (

**b**) during Summer day.

**Figure 12.**Hourly variations in panel temperature of PVT system for different configurations. (

**a**) during Winter day (

**b**) during Summer day.

**Figure 13.**Hourly variations in efficiency of electrical energy for different configurations. (

**a**) during Winter day (

**b**) during Summer day.

**Figure 14.**Hourly variations in efficiency of thermal energy for different configurations. (

**a**) during Winter day (

**b**) during Summer day.

**Figure 15.**Hourly variations in the efficiency of total energy of PVT system for different configurations. (

**a**) during Winter day (

**b**) during Summer day.

**Figure 16.**Hourly variations in efficiency of electrical exergy for different configurations (

**a**) during Winter day (

**b**) during Summer day.

**Figure 17.**Hourly variations in efficiency of thermal exergy for different configurations. (

**a**) during Winter day (

**b**) during Summer day.

**Figure 18.**Hourly variations in the total exergy efficiency of PVT system for different configurations. (

**a**) during Winter day (

**b**) during Summer day.

**Figure 19.**The influence of coolant water flow rate on (

**a**) average temperature of panel (

**b**) total energy efficiency (

**c**) total exergy.

**Figure 20.**The influence of solar intensity on (

**a**) average temperature of panel (

**b**) electrical energy efficiency (

**c**) total energy efficiency (

**d**) total exergy efficiency.

**Figure 21.**The influence of ambient temperature on (

**a**) average temperature of panel (

**b**) electrical energy efficiency (

**c**) total energy efficiency (

**d**) total exergy efficiency.

**Table 1.**Weather conditions of the PVT water collector [40].

Time | Solar Intensity (W/m^{2}) | Ambient Temperature (°C) | Inlet Water Temperature (°C) |
---|---|---|---|

8 | 325 | 25 | 27 |

9 | 450 | 26 | 30 |

10 | 600 | 28 | 34 |

11 | 800 | 30 | 38 |

12 | 750 | 31 | 40 |

13 | 700 | 33 | 44 |

14 | 600 | 32 | 46 |

15 | 500 | 31 | 48 |

16 | 300 | 30 | 50 |

**Table 2.**Weather conditions of the PVT water collector [41].

Time | Solar Intensity (W/m^{2}) | Ambient Temperature (°C) | Inlet Water Temperature (°C) |
---|---|---|---|

10 | 600 | 33 | 33 |

11 | 750 | 33.5 | 34 |

12 | 900 | 36 | 35 |

13 | 850 | 35.8 | 37 |

14 | 750 | 35.5 | 42 |

15 | 600 | 34.8 | 43 |

16 | 450 | 32.5 | 44 |

**Table 3.**Weather conditions of the PVT water collector [42].

Time | Solar Intensity (W/m^{2}) | Ambient Temperature (°C) | Inlet Water Temperature (°C) |
---|---|---|---|

8 | 720 | 26 | 35 |

9 | 800 | 28 | 35 |

10 | 850 | 30 | 35 |

11 | 870 | 32 | 35 |

12 | 890 | 35 | 35 |

13 | 860 | 36 | 35 |

14 | 860 | 35 | 35 |

15 | 820 | 34 | 35 |

16 | 720 | 33 | 35 |

17 | 550 | 30 | 35 |

**Table 4.**Weather conditions of the PVT air collector [43].

Time | Solar Intensity (W/m^{2}) | Ambient Temperature (°C) |
---|---|---|

9 | 200 | 30 |

10 | 400 | 31 |

11 | 600 | 32 |

12 | 900 | 33 |

13 | 1000 | 34 |

14 | 950 | 35 |

15 | 900 | 37 |

16 | 800 | 36 |

17 | 600 | 35 |

18 | 300 | 34 |

**Table 5.**Weather conditions of the PVT air collector [44].

Time | Solar Intensity (W/m^{2}) | Ambient Temperature (°C) |
---|---|---|

8 | 130 | 7 |

9 | 220 | 12 |

10 | 430 | 15 |

11 | 550 | 18 |

12 | 680 | 20 |

13 | 600 | 22 |

14 | 280 | 22 |

15 | 260 | 22 |

16 | 100 | 21 |

Type | Polycrystalline |
---|---|

Maximum Power | 300 Watt |

Open circuit voltage | 45.7 V |

Short circuit current | 8.55 A |

${\mathsf{\eta}}_{\mathrm{ref}}$ | 15.45% |

Cell size | 156 mm × 156 mm |

Dimensions | 1956 × 992 × 50 mm |

The thickness of solar cell | 0.3 mm |

The thermal conductivity of solar cell | 0.036 W/M·K |

The absorptivity of solar cell | 0.85 |

The emissivity of solar cell | 0.97 |

The length of fluid channel | 1956 mm |

The width of fluid channel | 992 mm |

The depth of fluid channel | 50 mm |

The thermal conductivity of insulator | 0.035 W/m·K |

The thickness of insulator | 50 mm |

The thickness of glass cover | 0.5 mm |

The thermal conductivity of glass cover | 1 W/m·K |

The absorptivity of glass cover, | 0.06 |

The transmissivity of glass cover | 0.84 |

The emissivity of glass cover | 0.93 |

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**MDPI and ACS Style**

Soliman, A.M. A Numerical Investigation of PVT System Performance with Various Cooling Configurations. *Energies* **2023**, *16*, 3052.
https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073052

**AMA Style**

Soliman AM. A Numerical Investigation of PVT System Performance with Various Cooling Configurations. *Energies*. 2023; 16(7):3052.
https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073052

**Chicago/Turabian Style**

Soliman, Ahmed Mohamed. 2023. "A Numerical Investigation of PVT System Performance with Various Cooling Configurations" *Energies* 16, no. 7: 3052.
https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073052