Solar Energy, Vol.208, 58-88, 2020
Evaluation and comparison of different flow configurations PVT systems in Oman: A numerical and experimental investigation
The electrical efficiency of photovoltaic modules reduces with increase in cell temperature. However, using photovoltaic/thermal systems to enhance thermal, electrical, and overall outcomes is an excellent option. In this study, three water cooling PVT systems that have variable flow channels (web type, direct type, spiral type) installed, tested, evaluated, and compared with conventional PV in terms of electrical performance. The systems were tested outdoor in Sohar, Oman. The water mass flow rate was tested at 40 kg/h. The proposed systems reduced cell temperature on average by a minimum of 3 degrees C. The temperature reduction improves the voltage, power, and efficiency significantly. The highest average maximum voltage, current and power were observed for the spiral flow PVT system, which are 17.7 V, 2.89 A and 51.3 W, respectively. The overall efficiency for the conventional PV, web, direct and spiral type PVT systems were around 7.8%, 18.5%, 28.0% and 35.0%, respectively. The spiral flow collector found to produce the best efficiency compared to web and direct flow collectors. The results confirm that the use of the proposed PVT design is very suitable for the Sultanate of Oman and neighboring countries with similar environmental conditions.