A growing number of buildings are integrating building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) devices to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy costs. A building's heating and cooling loads are impacted by the thermal resistance of the air duct BIPV because of the change in thermal resistance. Therefore, augmenting the efficiency of (BIPV) devices will benefit many building architectures and mechanical engineering applications. This work introduces a low-cost and low- maintenance air duct system design augmenting BIPV systems. This novel approach increases airflow velocity and decreases air temperature for BIPV, resulting in improved performance for the PV system electricity output, increased PV lifespan due to reduced temperatures, and improved overall energy efficiency of the building. Specifically, we show how to model and simulate the BIPV system analyzing both the PV devices and building energy. We present a quantitative study to demonstrate this air duct system can reduce energy usage by up to 2.7% depending on the climate zone. The air duct system performs best in warm and sunny climates based on our simulations. Finally, we use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to study the additional advantages of this air duct model. Due to the lower temperature of the PV surface, the results indicate that air ducts can improve the electrical energy production of PV modules by up to 3%. This benefit is not limited to energy production; it will also contribute to a longer life cycle for PV modules by lower temperature-induced degradation. Lastly, our study simulates a wide variety of parameter options to understand the optimal design integration of the BIPV system's impact on a building's energy loads.
|01 January 2023
|University of Central Florida
|Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-
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