Performance evaluation of low concentrating photovoltaic/thermal systems: A case study from Sweden

L.R. Bernardo, B. Perers, H. Håkansson, B. Karlsson

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Some of the main bottlenecks for the development and commercialization of photovoltaic/thermal hybrids are the lack of an internationally recognized standard testing procedure as well as a method to compare different hybrids with each other and with conventional alternatives. A complete methodology to characterize, simulate and evaluate concentrating photovoltaic/thermal hybrids has been proposed and exemplified in a particular case study. By using the suggested testing method, the hybrid parameters were experimentally determined. These were used in a validated simulation model that estimates the hybrid outputs in different geographic locations. Furthermore, the method includes a comparison of the hybrid performance with conventional collectors and photovoltaic modules working side-by-side. The measurements show that the hybrid electrical efficiency is 6.4% while the optical efficiency is 0.45 and the U-value 1.9W/m2°C. These values are poor when compared with the parameters of standard PV modules and flat plate collectors. Also, the beam irradiation incident on a north–south axis tracking surface is 20–40% lower than the global irradiation incident on a fixed surface at optimal tilt. There is margin of improvement for the studied hybrid but this combination makes it difficult for concentrating hybrids to compete with conventional PV modules and flat plate collectors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSolar Energy
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1499-1510
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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