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Research Papers

Theoretical Analysis and Testing of Nanofluids-Based Solar Photovoltaic/Thermal Hybrid Collector

[+] Author and Article Information
Siddharth Saroha, Tarun Mittal, Vishal Bhalla, Vikrant Khullar

School of Mechanical,
Materials and Energy Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Ropar,
Rupnagar, Punjab 140001, India

Poojan J. Modi

School of Mechanical and
Manufacturing Engineering,
The University of New South Wales,
Sydney 2052, Australia

Himanshu Tyagi

School of Mechanical,
Materials and Energy Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Ropar,
Rupnagar, Punjab 140001, India
e-mail: himanshu.tyagi@iitrpr.ac.in

Robert A. Taylor

School of Mechanical and
Manufacturing Engineering,
The University of New South Wales,
Sydney NSW 2052, Australia

Todd P. Otanicar

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Tulsa,
Tulsa, OK 74104-3189

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 28, 2014; final manuscript received February 12, 2015; published online May 14, 2015. Assoc. Editor: L. Q. Wang.

J. Heat Transfer 137(9), 091015 (Sep 01, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: HT-14-1251; doi: 10.1115/1.4030228 History: Received April 28, 2014; Revised February 12, 2015; Online May 14, 2015

Solar energy can be harvested via thermal, photovoltaic, and photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) hybrid technologies. PV/T systems are advantageous because they utilize more of the solar spectrum and achieve a higher combined efficiency. One approach to PV/T design is to keep the operating temperature of the PV low while achieving a high temperature for the thermal absorber. Various designs of PV/T hybrids (both flat plate and concentrated) have already been proposed which utilize air or water to remove the heat from PV cells in order to enhance the overall efficiency of PV/T hybrid collector. We propose that a nanofluid can be used instead, doubling as both the heat transfer medium and an optical filter, which allows for thermal isolation of the PV and thermal receiver. Thus, unwanted IR and UV light is filtered before it hits the PV cells, which allows for higher overall efficiencies. In this study, a new design of a PV/T hybrid collector was proposed and two nanofluid filters (based on gold and silver nanoparticles) were tested with a silicon (Si) PV cell. The corresponding stagnation temperatures of PV/T hybrid collector were measured and compared with a theoretical model. The experimental measurements validate the theoretical model, giving similar results over the range of parameters tested. The silver nanofluid design achieved the highest thermal, PV and overall efficiency and both nanofluid configurations out-performed an analogous surface absorber PV/T design under similar conditions. Overall, this study shows that nanofluids represent a feasible and viable multifunctional (optical filter and heat transfer) media in PV/T solar systems.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of nanofluid based solar PV/T hybrid collector

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Fig. 2

Absorbance for nanofluid filters (with silver and gold nanoparticles) and ideal filter for silicon PV

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Fig. 3

Heat balance diagram of the proposed model

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Fig. 4

Spectral distribution in the nanofluid filter (using silver nanoparticles) at various normalized depths

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Fig. 5

Spectral distribution in the nanofluid filter (using gold nanoparticles) at various normalized depths

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Fig. 6

Comparison of thermal efficiencies of the proposed model with that of two absorber insulated type hybrid collector

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Fig. 7

Comparison of electrical efficiencies of the proposed model with that of two absorber insulated type hybrid collector

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Fig. 8

Comparison of overall efficiencies of the proposed model with that of two absorber insulated type hybrid collector

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Fig. 9

Indoor hybrid PV/T system setup

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Fig. 10

Comparison between theoretical and experimental absorbance for a nanofluid filter with silver nanoparticles

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Fig. 11

Comparison between theoretical and experimental absorbance for a nanofluid filter with gold nanoparticles

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