This study presents performance variations of a solar photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) hybrid using spectral beam splitting (SBS) techniques. Compared with conventional solar PV/T hybrids (the one-sun flat-plate PV/T hybrid), the proposed hybrid simultaneously produces electricity and relatively higher grades of thermal energy. The majority of the studies related to SBS solar PV/T hybrids are in the early stages of design or proof-of-concept. Therefore, the proposed hybrid's operating characteristics must be investigated. This study provides comprehensive information about the influence of the main operating parameters on the proposed hybrid system's performance. The main operating parameters considered in this parametric study are solar irradiance, ambient temperature, thermal fluid mass flow rate, and inlet fluid temperature. While these parameters were well known to affect most solar technologies' performance, few studies have reported the extent of their impact on SBS solar PV/T hybrids. The results show that the ambient temperature is the greatest influence on the hybrid efficiency. When the ambient temperature increases from 0 °C to 40 °C, the hybrid efficiency decreases from 71.5% (the highest) to 63.7%. The overall efficiency of the hybrid was strongly dependent on the hybrid's PV component. As compared with the hybrid's parabolic trough collector (PTC) component, the PV performance was highly influenced by operating conditions. Nonetheless, compared with the original system design (pure PTC and pure PV), these operating parameters have relatively low impact on both PTC and PV in the hybrid system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment