Non-imaging technologies for designing a hybrid photovoltaic and solar thermal collector

Gajic, M 2017, Non-imaging technologies for designing a hybrid photovoltaic and solar thermal collector, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Engineering, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Non-imaging technologies for designing a hybrid photovoltaic and solar thermal collector
Author(s) Gajic, M
Year 2017
Abstract The sun is the world's most abundant energy source and means of harvesting it include photovoltaic cells to create electricity and solar thermal collectors to generate heat. Low temperature heat can be used for domestic applications where in urban environments available space is often limited. By combining solar thermal and photovoltaics in one system, roof space can be saved and potentially eciency can be increased. Photovoltaic technologies can only convert photons with energies above their bandgap to electricity, with the remainder of the solar spectrum wastefully generating heat. In a hybrid conguration that heat is not wasted but collected instead.

The work done in this thesis investigates and then combines two nonimaging types of concentrating solar technologies: the luminescent solar concentrator that generates electricity via photovoltaic cells, conventionally used in the built environment and the compound parabolic concentrator, used for capturing solar thermal energy. LSCs combined with exible SLIVER solar cells were investigated in a new circular conguration and were found to work well although the manual fabrication nature of these devices limited their eciency. Various high quantum yield uorophores were also investigated and it was found that performance of the LSCs was highly dependent on maximising the Stokes-shift of the uorophore to minimise losses. Following on from this work, the luminescent solar concentrator in a new application of the technology, was used as a cover for the solar thermal collector (the CPC) whilst at the same time concentrating a band of light to its edges where solar cells convert photons to electricity.

The capture of a part of the solar spectrum in the LSC is done with uorescent particles whilst the rest of the solar spectrum can be captured as thermal energy in the CPC, essentially coming up with a new spectral splitting hybrid solar collector. A small prototype hybrid CPC and LSC collector was tested in the lab under a solar simulator. This proof of concept device compared a high transmission and low transmission LSC and demonstrated the experimental basis of the new type of PV-T collector. An outdoors ow experiment was undertaken, measuring instantaneous thermal eciency and electrical output.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Engineering
Subjects Photodetectors, Optical Sensors and Solar Cells
Renewable Power and Energy Systems Engineering (excl. Solar Cells)
Keyword(s) Solar Thermal
Solar PV
Non-Imaging Optics
Concentrating Solar
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Created: Fri, 13 Apr 2018, 15:28:52 EST by Denise Paciocco
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