This project seeks to cool homes and business buildings on hot summer days by using low grade waste heat from photovoltaic/thermal (PVT) collectors to drive a thermal cooling system, lowering carbon emissions. The project will develop cost effective solar cooling by coupling a building integrated PVT system with thermally driven cooling systems. Photovoltaic panels convert between 5-15 per cent of the incoming solar radiation into electricity. About 80 per cent of the remaining solar radiation is dissipated as waste heat. Hybrid PVT/thermal systems produce both electricity and low grade heat which can significantly lower the carbon emissions from residential and commercial buildings. When the heat is not needed, the current default is that it is flued from the building as waste heat.
This project is the second associated with air based PVT. The project (RP1001: “Air handling solutions, integration approaches and building design considerations for Photovoltaic Thermal roofing”) focuses on PVT providing both thermal heating in winter, and PV electrical output. This project focuses on further providing cooling in summer, when maximum solar radiation is available and there are limited alternative uses for the collected heat.
This project has two complimentary work packages
- A short-term review to examine the economic feasibility, competitive position and business model for of integrating air based PVT into an existing market-ready desiccant cooler developed by CSIRO to deliver cost effective solar cooling, and
- A longer-term piece of research to further improve the performance and hence affordability of the desiccant cooler approach, by investigating a novel desiccant cooling system that requires significantly lower temperatures for recharging the desiccant.