Inderscience Publishers

Thermodynamic and life cycle assessment of flat–plate collector, photovoltaic system and photovoltaic thermal collector

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In this study, an energy, exergy and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis of a Flat–Plate (FP) collector, a Photovoltaic (PV) system and a Photovoltaic–Thermal (PV–T) collector is carried out for better evaluation. It is observed that instantaneous energy, daily energy and exergy efficiency of the FP collector, the PV system and the PV/T collector vary between 53–61%, 19–30%, 23–37% and 56–74%, 11–15%, 21–34% and 2–7%, 6–22% and 8–16%, respectively. The energy and CO2 payback time of these solar collectors varies between 2, 12, 3.8 and 1.6, 3.6 and 1.8 years, respectively. Thermodynamic and LCA analysis show that a considerable amount of electrical and thermal energy is generated by the PV–T collector and the sustainability of the system is improved. Hence, the PV system has features better for the PV–T collector, especially when both electricity and heat are required for domestic applications.

Keywords: flat plate collectors, PV systems, photovoltaic systems, PV–T collector, energy efficiency, exergy efficiency, thermodynamics, life cycle assessment, LCA, photovoltaic thermal collectors, domestic energy, solar collectors, solar energy, solar power

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