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Energies 2017, 10(7), 880;

Investigation of the Energy Performance of a Novel Modular Solar Building Envelope

School of Architecture, Heilongjiang Cold Climate Architectural Science Key Laboratory, Harbin Institute of Technology, 66 Xidazhi Street, Harbin 150001, China
School of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Hull, Hull HU178XH, UK
Heilongjiang Environmental Monitoring Center Station, Harbin 150056, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Technologies for Buildings)
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The major challenges for the integration of solar collecting devices into a building envelope are related to the poor aesthetic view of the appearance of buildings in addition to the low efficiency in collection, transportation, and utilization of the solar thermal and electrical energy. To tackle these challenges, a novel design for the integration of solar collecting elements into the building envelope was proposed and discussed. This involves the dedicated modular and multiple-layer combination of the building shielding, insulation, and solar collecting elements. On the basis of the proposed modular structure, the energy performance of the solar envelope was investigated by using the Energy-Plus software. It was found that the solar thermal efficiency of the modular envelope is in the range of 41.78–59.47%, while its electrical efficiency is around 3.51% higher than the envelopes having photovoltaic (PV) alone. The modular solar envelope can increase thermal efficiency by around 8.49% and the electrical efficiency by around 0.31%, compared to the traditional solar photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) envelopes. Thus, we have created a new envelope solution with enhanced solar efficiency and an improved aesthetic view of the entire building. View Full-Text
Keywords: modular solar building envelope; photovoltaic/thermal; integration; energy efficiency modular solar building envelope; photovoltaic/thermal; integration; energy efficiency

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Ren, G.; Zhao, X.; Zhan, C.; Jin, H.; Zhou, A. Investigation of the Energy Performance of a Novel Modular Solar Building Envelope. Energies 2017, 10, 880.

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