Photovoltaic thermal collectors (PVT) combines technologies of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors into a hybrid system by attaching an absorber to the back surface of a PV panel. PVT collectors have gained a lot of attention recently due to the high energy output per unit area compared to a standalone system of PV panels and solar thermal collectors. In this study, performance of a liquid cooled flat PVT collector under the climatic conditions of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates was experimentally investigated. The electrical performances of the PVT collector was compared to that of a standalone PV panel. Moreover, effect of sand accumulation on performance of PVT collectors was examined. Additionally, effect of mass flow rate on thermal and electrical output of PVT collector was studied. Electrical power output is slightly affected by changes in mass flow rate. However, thermal energy increased by 22% with increasing flow rate. Electrical power output of a PV panel was found to be 38% lower compared to electrical output of PVT collectors. Dust accumulation on PVT surface reduced electrical power output up to 7% compared with a reference PVT collector.

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