A Review of Photovoltaic Thermal (PVT) technology for residential applications: performance indicators, progress, and opportunities

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Abstract

Solar energy has been one of the accessible and affordable renewable energy technologies for the last few decades. Photovoltaics and solar thermal collectors are mature technologies to harness solar energy. However, the efficiency of photovoltaics decays at increased operating temperatures, and solar thermal collectors suffer from low exergy. Furthermore, along with several financial, structural, technical and socio-cultural barriers, the limited shadow-free space on building rooftops has significantly affected the adoption of solar energy. Thus, Photovoltaic Thermal (PVT) collectors that combine the advantages of photovoltaic cells and solar thermal collector into a single system have been developed. This study gives an extensive review of different PVT systems for residential applications, their performance indicators, progress, limitations and research opportunities. The literature review indicated that PVT systems used air, water, bi-fluids, nanofluids, refrigerants and phase-change material as the cooling medium and are sometimes integrated with heat pumps and seasonal energy storage. The overall efficiency of a PVT system reached up to 81% depending upon the system design and environmental conditions, and there is generally a trade-off between thermal and electrical efficiency. The review also highlights future research prospects in areas such as materials for PVT collector design, long-term reliability experiments, multi-objective design optimisation, techno-exergo-economics and photovoltaic recycling.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3853
Number of pages48
JournalEnergies
Volume14
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2021

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