ASSESSMENT OF TRANSPARENT LUMINESCENT SOLAR CONCENTRATORS FOR BUILDING INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAICS

2022-2
Bunoti, Timothy
Despite the recorded increase in the installed capacity of solar energy resources globally, its use in urban areas is still limited and hindered due to the lack of sufficient solar real estate in cities. Irregularity of the city skyline that often results in large shaded areas and the slenderness of high-rise city buildings that limits the available rooftop area for installing conventional solar PV panels have been the main contributors to this phenomenon. Thus, there is a pressing need to devise creative means to harvest solar energy and increase solar real estate in densely populated urban areas. Converting conventional mono-functional building envelope materials into multi-functional energy harvesting ones is one of the ways solar real estate could be expanded in urban areas. As an emerging technology, Luminescent Solar Concentrators have shown the possibility of transforming the predominantly transparent city building facades into solar energy generators while maintaining transparency and unobstructed vistas for the building occupants. However, LSC technology is still in its infancy despite its foreseen potential to expand solar real vi estate in urban areas. Its full growth and quick advancement call for more research efforts to be invested. Thus, this research seeks to add to the ongoing research in this area of technology by proposing an 8 step framework that can be deployed to determine the electrical output of transparent LSC devices. Computer software is used to demonstrate the framework's application on a selected reference building located in a densely populated urban neighbourhood while considering all potential known benefits of this technology, such as adequately functioning under diffuse lighting. The results showed that though the technology is still in its infancy, it can produce enough electricity to subsidize the actual building energy demand by a rather outstanding value annually. This thesis also presents a general overview of PV technology and its advancements while highlighting the milestones, especially regarding power conversion efficiencies and material usage achieved to date.

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Citation Formats
T. Bunoti, “ASSESSMENT OF TRANSPARENT LUMINESCENT SOLAR CONCENTRATORS FOR BUILDING INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAICS,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.