Recent designs in the Solar Decathlon have incorporated solar electric modules with heat capture. Zero Energy Buildings (ZEB) solicitations through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have recently awarded photovoltaic / thermal (PV/T) projects incorporating air and fluid based heat transfer mediums. This paper introduces the PV/T collector with a quick history of four different research and development projects starting with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1978. Suggestions for engineering design and performance guidelines are provided. A demonstration of a zero glazed thin film amorphous silicon photovoltaic module with air as the fluid transfer medium, captured off the backside, is presented. The paper provides suggestions on applications and appropriate environments for various PV/T collector types.

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