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Useful energy utilisation of integrated solar PV and thermal module with storage device
Moussavou, Anges Akim Aminou
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Lack of electrical energy has always been an issue for human society development. Several studies point out the expansion and integration of renewable energies into the society to solve the energy crisis. Renewable energies promote sustainable energy development, environmental, social, and economic sustainability throughout their life cycle. The integration of renewable energies, especially in the area of the photovoltaic technology becomes important, as it demotes the rates of consumption of non-renewable resources, therefore, decreasing the fossil fuels dependencies. A photovoltaic system has a low output conversion rate. Integrating photovoltaic and thermal (PV/T) system can improve the photovoltaic conversion efficiency. However, the overall efficiency of the PV/T is always compromised as one of the sub-system performance might overtake the other. This research work is developed to enhance the knowledge of the thermal performance of photovoltaic models and also offered alternatives to improve and co-generate thermal and electrical energy. The purpose of the proposed PV/T model is to analyse the cooling method and the possibility of partially converting photovoltaic electrical energy into useful heat source (for hot water). The working fluid plays the role of cooling the PV cells, therefore, boosting the PV cell performance. The working fluid would collect the useful heat energy through the pipes in a closed loop attached at the back of the PV panel. The study also is aimed at proposing automated intelligent solutions for energy management to adjust the useful heat transfer capacity to working fluid based on energy demand and weather conditions to balance the thermal and electrical energy. The overall research method was based on a theoretical analysis, the review of essential articles, the design of the most appropriate concepts, mathematical modelling and analysis of the proposed PV/T system. Also, an adequate control strategy based on the energy management algorithm to provide multi-functional energy performance was established to prioritise the energy balance according to demand. The simulation model of the PV/T system was developed with MATLAB/Simulink software to predict system performance with reasonable accuracy and to analyse the main phenomena related to thermal behaviour. The simulation result of the proposed PV/T model under different operational conditions evaluated the cooling the PV cells and heating the working fluid. The outcomes turned out to be productive and cost-effective. Also, the PV modules can yield better electrical energy performance due to the cooling effect of the PV cells. The results revealed that the proposed system met cooling and heating based on the demands.