A comparison of the use of traditional glazing and a novel concentrated photovoltaic glazing (CoPVG) for building solar gain analysis using IESVE

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to compare the difference in solar gain for an internal space when a novel Concentrated Photovoltaic Glazing (CoPVG) unit is compared against traditional glazing modules. The CoPVG is an innovative glazing system developed by Ulster University, that takes advantage of Total Internal Reflection (TIR) to direct solar radiation into the internal space during periods of low solar altitude (around winter) harnessing the thermal contribution of solar gain and daylight. During periods of higher solar altitude (around summer), the solar radiation is mostly directed onto embedded photovoltaic cells. Previous work assessed the concept’s optical functionality, through experimental measurement and computational ray-tracing. Dynamic simulation in Matrix Laboratory (MATLAB) using a series of codes to represent the optical function of the CoPVG’s and Integrated Environmental Solutions Virtual Environment (IESVE) was validated by the experimental data. This work investigates methodologies in determining the transmissivty of the system in a dynamic simulation approach using ray tracing and Radiance in IESVE for visualisation, thereby building on the versability of this software to allow building designers and consultants to investigate energy and economic benefits of this system and systems like it in real building applications. The impact of integrating CoPVG as a replacement to traditonal glazing on a sun-facing building facade is assessed and the solar gain in the adjaciant space is compared throughout the year. During the summer months the integrated system reduces solar gain in the space by 34% but only 11% in the winter months, representing a reduction in the overall annual building energy needs. The study presents the potential economic and environmental savings provided by reduced cooling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalArchitectural Intelligence
Volume3
Issue number2
Early online date30 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 30 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Photovoltaics
  • BIPV
  • Smart buildings
  • IESVE
  • solar gain
  • Daylighting

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