Prof. Victoria Timchenko
School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering UNSW (University Of New South Wales) Sydney, Australia

Passive cooling of building integrated photovoltaic systems by means of turbulent natural convection


In recent years, building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems have been one of the fastest growing sectors in the renewable energy industry. The BIPV systems which are considered in the present investigation are facade (vertical) and roof (tilted) photovoltaic (PV) double-skin configurations. These systems consist of an air gap which separates the facade and roof of a building from a secondary PV facade, thereby forming an open-ended channel between them. The double-skin configurations can provide passive cooling of BIPV systems by means of natural convection of air which is entrained in the open-ended channel formed by a gap between the walls. In this work numerical investigations of the flow and heat transfer in open-ended channel formed by the double skin facade have been undertaken in order to improve understanding of the phenomena and provide best configurations for passive cooling. Both uniform heating and non-uniform heating configurations in which heat sources alternated with unheated zones on both skins were studied. In computational study three dimensional transient LES simulation was carried out. Computational results were compared with experimental data obtained in CETHIL, Lyon and UNSW, Sydney. It was shown that in comparison to uniformly heating configuration, non-uniformly heating configuration enhances both convective heat transfer and chimney effect.


Dr Timchenko is a senior lecturer in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at The University of New South Wales. She completed her Honours Degree in Physics at Kharkov State University, Ukraine, and her PhD in Engineering (1993) at the Institute for Problems in Machinery, The Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Her areas of expertise are computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer. Research interests include natural convection and phase change problems; cooling of building integrated photovoltaic systems and microelectronic devices; synthetic jets; modeling of nano- particles in human arteries and laser hyperthermia for biomedical applications.