Equilibrium thermal characteristics of a building integrated photovoltaic tiled roof

Mei, L. and Infield, D.G. and Gottschalg, R. and Loveday, D.L. and Davies, D. and Berry, M. (2009) Equilibrium thermal characteristics of a building integrated photovoltaic tiled roof. Solar Energy, 83 (10). pp. 1893-1901. ISSN 0038-092X

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Photovoltaic (PV) modules attain high temperatures when exposed to a combination of high radiation levels and elevated ambient temperatures. The temperature rise can be particularly problematic for fully building integrated PV (BIPV) roof tile systems if back ventilation is restricted. PV laminates could suffer yield degradation and accelerated aging in these conditions. This paper presents a laboratory based experimental investigation undertaken to determine the potential for high temperature operation in such a BIPV installation. This is achieved by ascertaining the dependence of the PV roof tile temperature on incident radiation and ambient temperature. A theory based correction was developed to account for the unrealistic sky temperature of the solar simulator used in the experiments. The particular PV roof tiles used are warranted up to an operational temperature of 85 °C, anything above this temperature will void the warranty because of potential damage to the integrity of the encapsulation. As a guide for installers, a map of southern Europe has been generated indicating locations where excessive module temperatures might be expected and thus where installation is inadvisable.