Photovoltaic Thermal System


Todd Katz
Daniel Cox
Eric Greendyk
Jonghyun Bae

Prof. Wei Jiang


Photovoltaic Systems (PV) have been developed over the years as an alternative way to resolve the issue of limited energy resources; however, due to its operating properties, this clean source of energy is very inefficient. Counter-intuitively, recent studies have shown that there is actually an inverse relationship between solar cell temperature and the efficiency of the cell. Solar panels are usually installed on rooftops, and can reach very high temperatures. In a normal PV system, this heat is wasted energy. In this project, combining conventional PV with a thermal system is shown to radically increase the overall efficiency of a system. While the electrical efficiency of the PV system has a negligible change, the added benefit of using the wasted heat energy to create hot water adds efficiency; therefore, tremendous added value in comparison to a stand-alone PV system.