Exergetic Analysis of Hybrid Photovoltaic - Thermal Solar Collectors Coupled to Organic Rankine Cycles

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Abstract

In this work, the application of hybrid solar modules that combine photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors coupled with a low-temperature thermal cycle such as the Organic Rankine Cycle is discussed, their main purpose being an increase in the total electric power production per available area. This work will study the thermal and electrical power production efficiency of the hybrid system, the increase in the PV module electric conversion efficiency due to their cooling through heat transfer to the thermal cycle and the total exergetic efficiency of the system. A simplified simulation of the system in steady state conditions based on a thermal efficiency model will be performed with the aid of the EES (Engineering Equation Solver) software using climate data from Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. The study shows that while the PV/T+ORC system does fulfill the purpose of increasing the electrical power generation both from the generator coupled to the thermal cycle and from the increase in the PV module efficiency due to its cooling. Thus, there is an increase the overall exergy efficiency of the system compared to uncoupled PV/T collectors.

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