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A Novel BIPV-PCM Heat and Power Cogeneration System for Buildings (BIPV-PCM-COGEN)
Start date: Dec 7, 2012, End date: Dec 6, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The project aims to develop a novel BIPV façade module capable of achieving enhanced solar thermal/electrical efficiencies when utilizing micro-encapsulated PCM slurry. This type of module will be designed to provide for flow of properly selected micro-encapsulated PCM slurry, which transfers heat away from the rear of the PV modules, thus decreasing the temperature of the PV cells/modules and increasing their electrical efficiency. The energy carried by the slurry will be used to (1) aid ventilation of the building; (2) provide hot water for domestic use all year round, and for space heating when needed; and (3) be stored in a heat storage unit if there is surplus and fed back to the ventilation or/and heating system when solar radiation is insufficient or unavailable. Compared to conventional BIPV and BIPV/thermal systems, the proposed system could potentially achieve 20% (relative to BIPV/thermal) and 60% (relative to BIPV) higher solar energy conversion efficiency, thus enabling an increased per unit surface area energy production and reduced cost for energy supply. The proposed research will promote large-scale deployment of PV in urban environment, encourage enhanced use of BIPV façade components by architects and builders, and help achieve improved overall energy performance of the buildings. The specific objectives of the project are: (1) designing a conceptual BIPV module and the associated heat and power cogeneration system using the PCM slurry; (2) developing a computer model to optimise the configuration of the BIPV/PCM system and predict its energy generating performance; (3) constructing and testing a prototype BIPV/PCM system and validating the computer model using the experiemntal data; and (4) carrying out economic, environmental and regional acceptance analyses."

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