This paper focused on the performance of photovoltaic-thermal (PVT) systems working in Bangkok for residential applications.
The PVT system is one which produces both electricity and low temperature heat at the same time. This paper investigated the performance of PVT systems that use different types of commercial solar PV panels. The characteristics of the PV panels were used as input parameters in the simulation. Each system comprises 2 m2 of PVT collector area. Water draw patterns are those with a typical consumption of medium size houses in Bangkok, and the measured monthly average city water temperature of Bangkok has been used to estimate the energy output. The results show that the optimum water flow rate is 20 kg/h for all types of PVT collectors and the effect of water flow can improve the cell efficiency of PV cells. Moreover, the total energy output from the PVT collectors, which had glass covers is very significantly higher than those without one. The c-Si PVT panel gave the best performance with the highest rate of primary energy reduction. The payback time of each system is 6.4, 11.8, and 13.4 years for a-Si, mc-Si, and c-Si types of PVT system, respectively. This investigation concludes that from the viewpoint of system performance, c-Si PVT is the most promising type than whereas from the viewpoint of economy, a-Si PVT has the fastest payback time. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.