Paper Conference

Proceedings of BSA Conference 2022: Fifth Conference of IBPSA-Italy


An Investigation Into Thermal Performance of Buildings Built Using Upcycled End-Of-Life Photovoltaic Panels

Roshan R Rao, Suchi Priyadarshani, Monto Mani

Abstract: End-of-Life, or discarded, Solar Photovoltaic panels are rising in huge numbers every year throughout the world. This is of grave concern as the environmentally safe handling of EoL-PV is not yet established fully. We propose a novel approach to upcycle End-of-Life (EoL)-PV as a building material that can extend the life of PV by another 2~3 decades. PV panels are a multi-layered laminate of different materials. In the course of environmental exposure and use, degradation induces variation in the optical properties of EoL-PV. Variations in thermal properties have not been explicitly examined, which has a bearing on the thermal performance of a building when integrated as a building material. This work studies the influence of the thermal conductivity and solar transmittance of PV panels on the surface temperatures using a steady-state energy balance model. Also, through the whole building simulation, the implications on the mean radiant temperature and the heating/cooling load of the building by using EoL PV compared to a new PV are understood. Other factors, like the area of PV to wall ratio, seasonal changes, and climate zone are found to play a role in the relative changes in the MRT and Heating/Cooling Load attributed to EoL-PV integration in buildings.
Pages: 217 - 224