Defense: Testing, Optimization and Design of a BIPV/T Solar Air Collector

Speaker Name: 
Andrea Chialastri
Speaker Title: 
PhD Candidate (Advisor: Michael Isaacson)
Speaker Organization: 
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Start Time: 
Thursday, May 2, 2019 - 1:30pm
Location: 
Engineering 2 Building, Room 280
Organizer: 
Michael Isaacson
Abstract:  Integrated building elements, which combine their structural, control and architectural functions with that of energy generation, are expected to become increasingly important in the future scenario of energy efficient buildings, and they could significantly contribute to the thermal behavior of the building envelope in order to provide energy savings. A prototype of a building-integrated photovoltaic thermal (BIPV/T) solar air collector was built, consisting of a double-glazed airflow window wall with photovoltaic (PV) louvers embedded in it. The collector is intended to either be used as a modular window wall unit that would form a ventilated double-skin façade, or as an independent airflow window, and it provides combined heat and power generation, while still allowing light transmission, shading control and thermal insulation as a conventional window. 


In this work, I present results from experimental measurements to evaluate the prototype's thermal and electrical performance under different testing conditions. I use these data to develop a CFD model in order to optimize both the thermal and electrical generation by enhancing PV cooling and thermal insulation. This includes strategies for the optimization of the glazing system, frame heat losses minimization and PV-to-air heat transfer enhancement by increased airflow rate, the use of extended surfaces and improved thermal conductivity of the PV absorber. Lastly, I present the design of new prototypes, which were developed based on the simulation results and provide improved energy efficiency