Steady natural convective airflow in a novel type glazing system with integrated semi-transparent photovoltaic (PV) cells has been analyzed numerically using a stream function vorticity formulation. Based on the resulting numerical predictions, the effects of Rayleigh numbers on airflow patterns and local heat transfer coefficients on vertical glazing surfaces were investigated for Rayleigh numbers in the range of 103 ≤ Ra ≤ 2 × 105. Significant agreement for the Nusselt numbers was observed between numerical simulation results in this study and those of earlier experimental and theoretical results available from the literature. In addition, the effect of air gap thickness in the cavity on the heat transfer through the cavity is evaluated. The optimum thickness of the air layer in this research is found to be in the range of 60–80 mm. This novel glazing system type could not only generate electricity but also achieve potential energy savings by reducing the air conditioning cooling load when applied in subtropical climatic conditions and simultaneously provide visual comfort in the indoor environment.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Building and Environment|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2009|