Special Issue "Design, Optimization and Applications of Solar Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal Systems"

A special issue of Designs (ISSN 2411-9660).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Firdaus Muhammad-Sukki

School of Engineering, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen AB10 7GJ, Scotland, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: solar concentrator; solar photovoltaic; building integrated photovoltaic; renewable energy technology; renewable energy policies; nanotechnology law and policies
Guest Editor
Dr. Nazmi Sellami

School of Engineering, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen AB10 7GJ, Scotland, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: solar energy; photovoltaics; solar concentrator; building integrated photovoltaic; heat transfer; CCS; fluid dynamics; solar district heating and thermal storage

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Worldwide, countries have invested heavily to push for the adoption of renewable energy sources, including solar energy. Solar energy is considered one of the most rapidly growing renewable sources of electricity and heat. The two technologies that are widely used to harness this energy are solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems. In the past decade, there has been a significant rise in terms of installations of solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems worldwide. The primary objective of this Special Issue is to provide a platform for researchers and practitioners to exchange their latest achievements and to identify critical issues and challenges for future investigation associated with these two technologies. In addition, this issue will be considered as the main reference for the development of the next generation of solar energy solutions and technologies across the globe. The papers to be published in this issue are expected to provide the latest results of modelling and optimization techniques, experimental validations, research and development of new technology, case studies etc.

Dr. Firdaus Muhammad-Sukki
Dr. Nazmi Sellami
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Designs is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • solar photovoltaic

  • solar cells

  • solar thermal systems

  • modelling

  • heat transfer

  • optimization

  • building integration

  • solar thermal/electrical storage

  • solar concentrator

  • simulations

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle PV Microgrid Design for Rural Electrification
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 31 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
There are high numbers of remote villages that still need electrification in some countries. Extension of the central electrical power network to these villages is not viable owing to the high costs and power losses involved. Isolated power systems such as rural microgrids
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There are high numbers of remote villages that still need electrification in some countries. Extension of the central electrical power network to these villages is not viable owing to the high costs and power losses involved. Isolated power systems such as rural microgrids based on renewables could be a potential solution. Photovoltaics (PV) technology is particularly suited for countries like India due to factors such as the available solar resource, the modularity of the technology and low technology costs. It was identified that unlike larger isolated power systems, rural microgrids have a low energy demand as the loads are mainly residential and street lighting. Hence, these microgrids could be of a single-phase configuration. At present, the typical procedure followed by planners of rural networks does not consider the importance of PV source siting and optimisation of network structure. An improved design procedure is introduced in this work based on the use of centres of moments for central PV system sizing, simulated annealing for network structure optimisation and load flow based parametric analysis for confirming the PV microgrid structure before detailed software-based PV design. Case studies of two remote villages are used to inform and illustrate the design procedure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Suitability of Electrical Coupling in Solar Cell Thermoelectric Hybridization
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 4 September 2018 / Accepted: 6 September 2018 / Published: 8 September 2018
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Abstract
It is well known that the major constraints to the efficiency of photovoltaic devices come from the generation of heat. In this context, thermoelectric generators have been proposed as a viable heat recovery solution, leading to an increase of the overall efficiency. Within
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It is well known that the major constraints to the efficiency of photovoltaic devices come from the generation of heat. In this context, thermoelectric generators have been proposed as a viable heat recovery solution, leading to an increase of the overall efficiency. Within this kind of hybrid solution, the photovoltaic and thermoelectric parts can be either electrically separated or connected in the same circuit. In the latter case, the presence of the thermoelectric generator in series to the solar cell may lead to electrical losses. In this work, we analyze the effect of several parameters on the output power of electrically hybridized thermoelectric-photovoltaic systems. Both electrical measurements and simulations are used. The results show that while an electrical lossless condition exists (as also reported in previous works), it does not necessarily lead to significant power gains compared to the sole photovoltaic case. In addition, the strong temperature sensitivity of the lossless condition makes electrical hybridization difficult to implement. Since solar irradiation varies over time, such sensitivity would make the system work mostly in a suboptimal regime. Therefore, this study provides clues on the actual applicability of electrically hybridized devices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Design and Fabrication of Absorptive/Reflective Crossed CPC PV/T System
Received: 14 July 2018 / Revised: 26 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 6 August 2018
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Abstract
A crossed compound parabolic concentrator (CCPC) is a non-imaging concentrator which is a modified form of a circular 3D compound parabolic concentrator (CPC) obtained by orthogonal intersection of two 2D CPCs that have an optical efficiency in line with that of 3D CPC.
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A crossed compound parabolic concentrator (CCPC) is a non-imaging concentrator which is a modified form of a circular 3D compound parabolic concentrator (CPC) obtained by orthogonal intersection of two 2D CPCs that have an optical efficiency in line with that of 3D CPC. The present work is about the design and fabrication of a new generation of solar concentrator: the hybrid photovoltaic (PV)/thermal absorptive/reflective CCPC module. The module has a 4× CCPC structure truncated to have a concentration of 3.6× with a half acceptance angle of 30°. Furthermore, an experimental rig was also fabricated to test the performance of the module and its feasibility in real applications such as building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV). 3D printing and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling technologies were utilized to manufacture the absorber and reflective parts of the module. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Energetic and Financial Optimization of Solar Heat Industry Process with Parabolic Trough Collectors
Received: 14 June 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
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Abstract
The objective of this work is the investigation of a solar heat industry process with parabolic trough solar collectors. The analysis is conducted for the climate conditions of Athens (Greece) and for five load temperature levels (100 °C, 150 °C, 200 °C, 250
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The objective of this work is the investigation of a solar heat industry process with parabolic trough solar collectors. The analysis is conducted for the climate conditions of Athens (Greece) and for five load temperature levels (100 °C, 150 °C, 200 °C, 250 °C, and 300 °C). The examined configuration combines parabolic trough solar collectors coupled to a storage tank and an auxiliary heat source for covering the thermal need of 100 kW. The solar thermal system was optimized using the collecting area and the storage tank volume as the optimization variables. There are three different optimization procedures, using different criteria in every case. More specifically, the solar coverage maximization, the net present value maximization, and the payback period minimization are the goals of the three different optimization procedures. Generally, it is found that the payback period is between five and six years, the net present value is between 500–600 k€, and the solar coverage is close to 60%. For the case of the 200 °C temperature level, the optimum design using the net present value criterion indicates 840 m2 of solar collectors coupled to a storage tank of 15.3 m3. The optimization using the solar cover indicates the use of 980 m2 of solar collectors with a tank of 28 m3, while the payback period minimization is found for a 560 m2 collecting area and an 8-m3 storage tank volume. The results of this work can be used for the proper design of solar heat industry process systems with parabolic trough collectors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Design Optimization of Polymer Heat Exchanger for Automated Household-Scale Solar Water Pasteurizer
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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Abstract
A promising approach to reducing the >870,000 deaths/year globally from unsafe water is flow-through solar water pasteurization systems (SWPs). Unfortunately, demonstrated systems have high capital costs, which limits access for the poor. The most expensive component of such systems is the heat exchanger
[...] Read more.
A promising approach to reducing the >870,000 deaths/year globally from unsafe water is flow-through solar water pasteurization systems (SWPs). Unfortunately, demonstrated systems have high capital costs, which limits access for the poor. The most expensive component of such systems is the heat exchanger (HX). Thus, this study focuses on cost optimization of HX designs for flow-through SWPs using high-effectiveness polymer microchannel HXs. The theoretical foundation for the cost optimization of a polymer microchannel HX is provided, and outputs are plotted in order to provide guidelines for designers to perform HX optimizations. These plots are used in two case studies: (1) substitution of a coiled copper HX with polymer microchannel HX, and (2) design of a polymer microchannel HX for a 3-D printed collector that can fit in an arbitrary build volume. The results show that substitution of the polymer expanded HX reduced the overall expenditure for the system by a factor 50, which aids in making the system more economical. For the second case study, the results show how future system designers can optimize an HX for an arbitrary SWP geometry. The approach of distributed manufacturing using laser welding appears promising for HX for SWP. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Analytical Expression of Parabolic Trough Solar Collector Performance
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 2 March 2018
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Abstract
The parabolic trough collector is one of the most developed solar concentrating technologies for medium and high temperatures (up to 800 K). This solar technology is applied in many applications and so its investigation is common. The objective of this study is to
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The parabolic trough collector is one of the most developed solar concentrating technologies for medium and high temperatures (up to 800 K). This solar technology is applied in many applications and so its investigation is common. The objective of this study is to develop analytical expressions for the determination of the thermal performance of parabolic trough collectors. The non-linear equations of the energy balances in the parabolic trough collector device are simplified using suitable assumptions. The final equation set includes all the possible parameters which influence the system performance and it can be solved directly without computational cost. This model is validated using experimental literature results. Moreover, the developed model is tested using another model written in Engineering Equation Solver under different operating conditions. The impact of the inlet fluid temperature, flow rate, ambient temperature, solar beam irradiation, and the heat transfer coefficient between cover and ambient are the investigated parameters for testing the model accuracy. According to the final results, the thermal efficiency can be found with high accuracy; the deviations are found to be up to 0.2% in the majority of the examined cases. Thus, the results of this work can be used for the quick and accurate thermal analysis of parabolic trough collector. Moreover, the analytical expressions give the possibility for optimizing solar thermal systems driven by parabolic trough collectors with lower computational cost. Full article
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