Analysis of the Solarus C-PVT solar collector and design of a new prototype : Market review and Production process guideline

University essay from Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik; Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik

Abstract:

Finding cleaner and sustainable energy resources is one of the most important concerns for the development of humanity. Solar energy is taking an essential role in this matter as the production cost of solar collectors is decreasing and more solar installations are being set up every year throughout the world. One way of reducing the cost of solar panels is by using concentrators that are cheaper than the costly photovoltaic cells and can increase their output. Solarus AB designed a Photovoltaic Thermal (PVT) hybrid collector that uses this principle and which is a variation of the Maximum Reflector Collector (MaReCo) design and is a Compound Parabolic Collector (CPC).

This thesis has two main objectives. The first one is to design variations of the actual Solarus’ design and some alternative MaReCo designs and pure parabola designs. These designs include new solar cell cuts which are based on 4 busbar solar cells. In this way a future in-depth analysis may be carried out by comparing different receiver designs and collector boxes. The second goal is to investigate the current electrical and thermal performance of the collectors from Solarus AB which are installed in the Hus 45 of HiG. The appropriate data of the installation has been obtained using simulations and specific software, and it has been analysed with Microsoft Excel®.

Concerning the new designs of the receivers and boxes, everything has been prepared for the future construction of the prototypes. All the measurements and their adjustments have been taken into account to define the size of the components and the process of building has been set up. Moreover, some future work has been planned in order to move forward the project.

Regarding the analysis of the HiG installation, both electrical and thermal performance have resulted to be significantly lower compared with their estimated simulation, being their real output around 60 % of the estimated one. In the thermal part, the losses in the pipeline result to be more than a third part of the produced heat. In the electrical part, the production varies a lot between different collectors due to some of them do not work properly, consequence of poor condition of the solar panels (broken cells, dirt, shading, etc.).

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