Harnessing Solar Power: Innovating Building Design with PV/Trombe Wall Systems for Sustainable Energy Efficiency

Researchers from the Middle East have developed a groundbreaking energy system that combines photovoltaic (PV) power generation with Trombe walls in buildings. By incorporating reflective mirrors, the system demonstrates improved overall efficiency in both heating and electricity production. The PV/Trombe wall (PV/TW) system not only provides hot water, hot air, and electricity but also effectively cools down the PV modules. The researchers conducted experiments to determine the optimal angle of the reflective mirrors, resulting in a 30-degree inclination angle that achieved a daily electrical efficiency of 13.86%. This innovative approach offers promising prospects for sustainable and efficient energy utilization in buildings.

photo credit: Energy report

Trombe walls, also known as solar walls, are passive heating systems in buildings that capture solar heat and distribute it throughout the structure without the need for electricity or machinery and the incorporation of reflective mirrors in the PV/TW system maximizes energy production by boosting the absorption of sunlight. Additionally, the use of porous materials, phase change materials (PCM), or nanofluids can further enhance the system's overall efficiency.

Experimental Setup:

photo credit: Energy report

 The researchers designed an experimental setup consisting of two chambers equipped with solar panels and reflective mirrors. Different inclination angles for the mirrors were tested to determine the optimal configuration.


The study revealed that a 30-degree inclination angle for the reflective mirrors, combined with the use of a heat exchanger, resulted in the highest daily electrical efficiency of 13.86%. The heat exchanger and DC fan played crucial roles in lowering the PV panel temperature and improving overall system performance and the researchers future goal is to explore the integration of phase-change materials (PCM) and a double air duct in the PV/Trombe system as potential areas for future research.

By integrating PV power generation with Trombe walls and utilizing reflective mirrors, this innovative system presents a sustainable solution for energy-efficient buildings. The findings of this study, published in Energy Reports, contribute to advancing renewable energy technologies and hold promise for a greener and more sustainable future.

Benefits and the potential applications of PV/Trombe Wall System 

The integration of PV power generation with Trombe walls offers several advantages. Firstly, it reduces reliance on traditional energy sources by harnessing solar power, contributing to a more sustainable energy mix. Secondly, the system provides a dual benefit by not only generating electricity but also passively heating buildings, resulting in energy savings and reduced carbon emissions. Lastly, the cooling effect on PV modules helps maintain their efficiency and prolong their lifespan.

The innovative PV/Trombe wall system holds immense potential for various applications. It can be integrated into residential buildings, commercial complexes, and even industrial facilities, providing renewable energy solutions for a wide range of structures. Moreover, the system's versatility allows it to be implemented in both new constructions and retrofitting existing buildings, making it a viable option for enhancing energy efficiency in diverse settings. 

However, The adoption of the PV/Trombe wall system contributes to mitigating the environmental impact of buildings. By reducing the reliance on fossil fuels for heating and electricity, it helps combat climate change and air pollution. Additionally, the use of reflective mirrors and other energy-efficient materials promotes sustainable practices and reduces overall energy consumption, supporting a greener and more eco-friendly built environment, apart from its environmental benefits, the PV/Trombe wall system offers economic advantages. By utilizing solar energy for electricity and heating, building owners can potentially reduce their energy bills, leading to long-term cost savings. Furthermore, as renewable energy technologies continue to evolve, the adoption of such innovative systems positions organizations and individuals at the forefront of energy efficiency, enhancing their reputation and potentially attracting incentives and subsidies.

In conclusion, The research conducted by the Iraqi group from Al-Kitab University and the Northern Technical University signifies the importance of international collaboration in advancing sustainable energy solutions. The study's findings contribute to the body of knowledge surrounding PV/Trombe wall systems, paving the way for further research and development in this field.

With its ability to generate electricity, provide passive heating, and optimize energy efficiency, the PV/Trombe wall system represents a significant step forward in sustainable building design. By embracing this technology, we can create a future where energy-efficient buildings play a pivotal role in mitigating climate change and promoting a cleaner, more sustainable world.

Source link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352484723010983#fig3

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