About this Research Topic
It is clear that solar thermal and power systems will play an important role in the future energy supply. Recent governmental schemes addressed that by 2015, solar photovoltaic systems (PV) will generate nearly 11% of global electricity while solar thermal systems will deliver about 50% of the low and medium temperature heat in the EU. The global solar market has achieved over €25 billion in 2013 and its annual growth rate is anticipated to be 10% to 15% over the next 10 years.
Solar thermal and power are usually two different technologies that make use of solar thermal collectors and photovoltaic (PV) modules separately. In terms of the solar thermal collectors, many different types are available and these include the flat-plates, evacuated tubes, heat pipes and also recently appeared micro-channel based absorbers. In terms of the photovoltaic (PV) modules, different materials including the mono-silicon, poly-silicon, thin-film and organic types are available. In recent years, the PV/T modules that are the combination of the PV modules and solar thermal collectors have also emerged on the market. Types of PV/Ts include air-based, water-based, PCM-based, refrigerant-based, and heat-pipe-based. For either a solar thermal, PV or PV/T system, the combination methods among system components and control strategy are versatile, while the optimisation in the components structure, material and combination method, system layout and overall control strategy will enable the enhanced energy efficiency and reduced cost of the system to be achieved.
We welcome investigators to contribute original research articles as well as review articles that will stimulate the continuous efforts on understanding the operational principles of solar thermal, photovoltaic, and PV/T systems, development of innovative materials and structures of the solar thermal collectors, PV and PV/T modules and characterization and optimization of these solar systems. In terms of the system layout, we also welcome contributions on components combination, control strategy, study of the energy and socio-economic performance of these systems, as well as analyses of their applications in buildings and other occasions. We are particularly interested in articles describing the new materials, methods for system layout, components combination and control strategy, theories or practical innovations that can help enhance the energy efficiency and reduce the cost of the solar thermal, PV and PV/T systems.
Keywords: Solar, Thermal, System, Photovoltaic, Energy Efficiency
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