The author reports an experimental investigation of the thermal performance of a multipurpose photovoltanic (PV) solar wall with phase change material (PVSW-PCM). The PVSW-PCM configuration was made of double layers. The external layer consists of a 12 Wp photovoltaic panel attached to a 15 cm thick PCM tank integrating water pipes. The internal wall is an ordinary clear glass pane. There is an 8 cm air gap between the two layers. The PVSW-PCM was integrated into the southern side of a small house of 4.05 m3 volume built by autoclaved aerated concrete block walls 0.07 m thick. On top of the external layer, three glass blocks (3 × 0.2 × 0.2 cm2) are installed to ensure indoor illumination. The absorbed solar radiation by the PV panel and PCM heats the water in the pipes and the air in the gap. The hot water produced is stored in a 10 liters tank located near the roof. At the inner lower part (room side) and the external upper part (ambient) of the gap, a small DC fan (12 V, 0.48 A) box was installed. The fans were connected to the PV panel directly to enhance indoor ventilation. The investigation considered both natural (fans OFF) and PV assisted ventilation. Another similar house without the PVSW-PCM referred to as glass wall (GW) was built and used as a reference for comparison. The experimental results revealed that the indoor temperature of the PVSW-PCM house was considerably lower than that of the GW house. Moreover, the PVSW-PCM could produce hot water temperature of 55–62 °C and induce a ventilation rate proportional to the intensity of solar radiation. Indoor illumination was sufficient for general house use. Therefore, the PVSW-PCM offers a new alternative for architects and engineers to reduce electric energy use for producing hot water and ventilation and save electrical energy consumption of air conditioner, as the indoor temperature is lower than that of the conventional house.

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