The performance of Building-Integrated Photovoltaic-Thermal (BIPV/T) collector is examined in this study. A full scale-test collector is monitored over several weeks in the summer of 2008 and measured data is used to calibrate a heat transfer model implemented in a common scientific computing software package. Following calibration, error between experimental measurements and the calibrated model outputs is within the limits of measurement uncertainty. Collector simulations are constructed to examine thermal efficiency, the effectiveness of the collector as a night-sky radiator, the effect of heat collection on electrical efficiency, the effect of two common exterior convection coefficients on collector performance, and the effect of eliminating the air gap between the PV and absorber surfaces. Overall collector thermal efficiency is relatively low compared to existing collectors. However, the potential low cost of the system could allow larger collector areas to compensate for low efficiency, especially in warm climates. Combined thermal and electrical efficiency can be as high as 34%. Additional analysis also indicates that the predicted thermal performance is highly dependent on the thermal resistance between the PV cells and the absorber plate and is sensitive to assumptions regarding wind-driven convection heat transfer coefficients.

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