Modelling analyses of the thermal property and heat transfer performance of a novel compositive PV vacuum glazing

Junchao Huang, Xi Chen, Jinqing Peng, Hongxing Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes an integrated photovoltaic vacuum glazing unit with an intermediate air cavity and a calibrated modelling approach to quantify its thermal properties and evaluate the heat transfer performance. Theoretical analyses of the heat transfer process are conducted with reasonable hypotheses and traceable boundary conditions. Three-dimensional heat transfer models are then established and cross-validated against previous publications. The detailed validation demonstrates the reliability of the developed complex models under different circumstances. Furthermore, four photovoltaic vacuum glazing configurations are compared in terms of the temperature distribution and overall heat transfer coefficient (i.e. U-value). Simulation results show that the photovoltaic vacuum double glazing can achieve the optimum performance among the four configurations based on simultaneous consideration of the PV module temperature and U-value. Sensitivity analyses of glazing design factors are also conducted for the U-value, which is found to be greatly reduced by decreasing the density and diameter of vacuum pillars as well as the glass thermal conductivity. A lowest U-value of 0.23 W/(m2·K) is achieved for the photovoltaic-vacuum double glazing and can be further improved with future design optimizations. This research can provide guidance to design improvement of PV vacuum glazing systems and promote their integration with building modelling tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1238-1252
Number of pages15
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Heat transfer
  • Photovoltaic vacuum glazing
  • Temperature distribution
  • Thermal property
  • U-value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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