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Design of a Mobile Probe to Predict Convection Heat Transfer on Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) at University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

[+] Author Affiliations
Jafar Madadnia

University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Broadway, Australia

Paper No. ES2015-49764, pp. V002T11A004; 6 pages
  • ASME 2015 9th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2015 Power Conference, the ASME 2015 13th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, and the ASME 2015 Nuclear Forum
  • Volume 2: Photovoltaics; Renewable-Non-Renewable Hybrid Power System; Smart Grid, Micro-Grid Concepts; Energy Storage; Solar Chemistry; Solar Heating and Cooling; Sustainable Cities and Communities, Transportation; Symposium on Integrated/Sustainable Building Equipment and Systems; Thermofluid Analysis of Energy Systems Including Exergy and Thermoeconomics; Wind Energy Systems and Technologies
  • San Diego, California, USA, June 28–July 2, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5685-7
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


In the absence of a simple technique to predict convection heat transfer on building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) surfaces, a mobile probe with two thermocouples was designed. Thermal boundary layers on vertical flat surfaces of a photovoltaic (PV) and a metallic plate were traversed. The plate consisted of twelve heaters where heat flux and surface temperature were controlled and measured. Uniform heat flux condition was developed on the heaters to closely simulate non-uniform temperature distribution on vertical PV modules. The two thermocouples on the probe measured local air temperature and contact temperature with the wall surface. Experimental results were presented in the forms of local Nusselt numbers versus Rayleigh numbers “Nu=a * (Ra)b”, and surface temperature versus dimensionless height [Ts -T= c*(z/h)d]. The constant values for “a”, “b”, “c” and “d” were determined from the best curve-fitting to the power-law relation. The convection heat transfer predictions from the empirical correlations were found to be in consistent with those predictions made by a number of correlations published in the open literature. A simple technique is then proposed to employ two experimental data from the probe to refine empirical correlations as the operational conditions change. A flexible technique to update correlations is of prime significance requirement in thermal design and operation of BIPV modules. The work is in progress to further extend the correlation to predict the combined radiation and convection on inclined PVs and channels.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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