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Electrical and Thermal Characteristics of a Photovoltaic Solar Wall with Passive and Active Ventilation through a Room

Authors: Himanshu Dehra


An experimental study was conducted for ascertaining electrical and thermal characteristics of a pair of photovoltaic (PV) modules integrated with solar wall of an outdoor room. A pre-fabricated outdoor room was setup for conducting outdoor experiments on a PV solar wall with passive and active ventilation through the outdoor room. The selective operating conditions for glass coated PV modules were utilized for establishing their electrical and thermal characteristics. The PV solar wall was made up of glass coated PV modules, a ventilated air column, and an insulating layer of polystyrene filled plywood board. The measurements collected were currents, voltages, electric power, air velocities, temperatures, solar intensities, and thermal time constant. The results have demonstrated that: i) a PV solar wall installed on a wooden frame was of more heat generating capacity in comparison to a window glass or a standalone PV module; ii) generation of electric power was affected with operation of vertical PV solar wall; iii) electrical and thermal characteristics were not significantly affected by heat and thermal storage losses; and iv) combined heat and electricity generation were function of volume of thermal and electrical resistances developed across PV solar wall. Finally, a comparison of temperature plots of passive and active ventilation envisaged that fan pressure was necessary to avoid overheating of the PV solar wall. The active ventilation was necessary to avoid over-heating of the PV solar wall and to maintain adequate ventilation of room under mild climate conditions.

Keywords: Photovoltaic solar wall, solar energy, passive ventilation, active ventilation.

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