23 September 2011
A solar PVTC (Solar Photo-Voltaic, Thermal, and Cooling) module was designed in order to achieve a cumulative COP value greater than one for the utilization of solar energy in
combined power, heat, and cold generation. The integrated facade comprises PV arrays, heat distributing plates, and thermo-electric cooling (TEC) elements, all sandwiched together. Part of the electric power generated drives the TEC modules. The heat distributing plate between the
solar PV and the TEC module transfers heat in a useful manner from them simultaneously and delivers to the building for various domestic uses. Thus the heat absorbed by the solar PV,
which reduces its thermal efficiency is transformed into useful heat in the building. Simulation and early prototype tests have shown that the thermal efficiency of the new tested PVTC system is 0.89, exergy efficiency is 0.48, and the cumulative solar heat pumping COP is 1.25. Carbon
emissions reduction potential is also favorable: about five times higher than a simple solar PV module under identical conditions.