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A methodology for predicting hybrid solar panel performance in different operating modes

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2021, 11:48 by Jamie P. Fine, Seth B. Dworkin, Jacob Friedman
When a hybrid solar panel produces thermal energy, it can operate in either hybrid mode, or thermal-only mode. In hybrid mode, the panel produces both electrical power and thermal power, and in thermal-only mode, only thermal power is produced. It has been shown that the thermal performance of a hybrid panel can vary by 15% on average between these two modes, but panel manufacturers are only required to publish performance data for one mode. Other studies in the literature have found a difference in panel thermal performance between these two modes, but they do not discuss a methodology to estimate alternate mode performance using manufacturer-supplied data. To alleviate this gap in the literature, this study presents a novel methodology to estimate alternate mode thermal performance of a hybrid solar panel only using manufacturer-supplied data. To match the panel information that is typically available, the second-order thermal efficiency model is used to estimate thermal performance, and temperature dependent electrical characteristics are used to estimate electrical performance. Indoor testing using a solar simulator was carried out, and the detailed test results are included. Results show that using the proposed modification technique can estimate thermal performance within 4% of actual values on average. Keywords: Solar; Hybrid Panel; PVT Panel; Experimental Data; Efficiency