Comparative study of three different designs of a hybrid PV/T double-pass finned plate solar air heater


In this paper, three different designs of a hybrid PV/T double-pass finned plate solar air heater (DPFPSAH) are investigated. The PV module is used to produce electricity needed to run the pump and blow the air into the solar collector. In the first design, the PV module is placed on the absorber plate of the air heater. In the second design, the PV module is placed beside the glass cover of the air heater; while, in the third one, the PV module is completely separated from the solar collector. The effects of mass flow rate of air, flow, and fan pumping powers are studied. The top losses of the third design are found to be higher than that of the first and the second designs by average values of 7.5% and 29%, respectively. The third design of the hybrid systems has the highest overall performance. The daily thermal efficiencies of the first, second, and third designs of the hybrid systems are obtained as 53%, 27%, and 64%, respectively, at mass flow rate of 0.02 kg/s.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14
Fig. 15
Fig. 16


A :

Surface area (m2)

b :

Width of the heater (m)

c :

Specific heat (J/kg K)

d :

Depth of air channel (m)

dx :

Unit length (m)

D h :

Hydraulic diameter (m)

f :

Friction factor

H :

Height of the fin (m)

h :

Heat transfer coefficient (W/m2 K)

I :

Solar radiation intensity (W/m2)

k :

Thermal conductivity (W/m K)

L :

Length of heater (m)

\( \dot{m} \) :

Mass flow rate of air (kg/s)

Nu :

Nusselt number (dimensionless)

P :

Power (W)

∆P :

Pressure drop (N/m2)

\( \dot{Q_u} \) :

Thermal output power (W)

\( \dot{Q_p} \) :

Electrical output power (W)

Re :

Reynolds number (dimensionless)

T :

Temperature (K)

t :

Thickness of the fin (m)

U t :

Top heat losses coefficient (W/m2 K)

V :

Velocity (m/s)

x :

Thickness of insulating material (m)

Pr :

Prandtl number (dimensionless)

t :

Thickness of the fin (m)

\( {\dot{Q}}_{useful} \) :

Useful electrical power (W)

\( {\dot{Q}}_{NET} \) :

Net available electrical power (W)

a :


av :


b :


c :


f :


g :


i :


l :


o :


p :

Absorber plate

r :


s :

Sky, side

w :


u :


fr :

Forced convection mode

m :


α :


τ :


η :


η c :

Efficiency of the solar cell (dimensionless)

η fin :

Efficiency of the fins (dimensionless)

η T − d :

Daily thermal efficiency (dimensionless)

η E :

Electrical efficiency (dimensionless)

η overall :

Overall efficiency (dimensionless)

η e − h :

The electrohydraulic efficiency (dimensionless)

ρ :

Density (kg/m3)

μ :

Dynamic viscosity (kg/m s)

ϕ :

Dimensionless quantity


  1. Alfegi M, Sopian K, Othman M, Bin Yatim B (2008) Experimental investigation of single pass, double duct photovoltaic thermal (PV/T) air collector with CPC and fins. Am J Appl Sci 5(7):866–871

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Armand P, Wouagfack N, Ngankou AL, Djongyang N, Tchinda R (2019) Electrical and exergy analysis of a simple pass photovoltaic – thermal (PV / T) air heater with slats under weather conditions of the Far Nord Region, Cameroon. Adv Appl Sci 4(2):41–51

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Daughery R, Franzini J, Finnemore E (1989) Fluid mechanics with engineering applications. McGraw Hill, p 293

  4. Fan W, Kokogiannakis G and Ma Z (2019). Optimisation of life cycle performance of a double-pass photovoltaic thermal-solar air heater with heat pipes. Renew Energy 138:90–105

  5. Gao W, Lin W, Liu T, Xia C (2007) Analytical and experimental studies on the thermal performance of cross-corrugated and flat-plate solar air heaters. Appl Energy 84(4):425–441

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Griggs E, Sharifabad F (1992) Flow characteristics in rectangular ducts. ASHRAE Trans 98:116–127

    Google Scholar 

  7. Guo C, Ji J, Sun W, Ma J, He W, Wang Y (2015) Numerical simulation and experimental validation of tri-functional photovoltaic/thermal solar collector. Energy 87:470–480

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Hegazy A (2000a) Comparative study of the performances of four photovoltaic/thermal solar air collectors. Energy Convers Manag 41:861–881

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Hegazy A (2000b) Thermohydraulic performance of air heating solar collectors with variable width, flat absorber plates. Energy Convers Manag 41:1361–1378

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Ho C, Yeh H, Cheng T, Chen T, Wang R (2009) The influences of recycle on performance of baffled double-pass flat-plate solar air heaters with internal fins attached. Appl Energy 86:1470–1478

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Hussain F, Othman M, Yatim B, Ruslan H, Sopian K, Anuar Z (2015) An improved design of photovoltaic/thermal solar collector. Sol Energy 122:885–891

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Ibrahim A, Othman M, Ruslan M, Mat S, Sopian K (2011) Recent advances in flat plate photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) solar collectors. Renew Sust Energ Rev 15(1):352–365

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Jin G, Ibrahim A, Chean Y, Daghigh R, Ruslan H, Mat S, Othman M, Sopian K (2010) Evaluation of single-pass photovoltaic-thermal air collector with rectangle tunnel absorber. Am J Appl Sci 7(2):277–282

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Joshi A, Tiwari A, Tiwari G, Dincer I, Reddy B (2009) Performance evaluation of a hybrid photovoltaic thermal ( PV / T ) ( glass-to-glass ) system. Int J Therm Sci 48:154–164

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Kim J, Park S, Kim J (2014) Experimental performance of a photovoltaic-thermal air collector. Energy Procedia 48:888–894

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Kostic L, Pavlovic T, Pavlovic Z (2010) Optimal design of orientation of PV/T collector with reflectors. Appl Energy 87:3023–3029

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Kumar R, Chand P (2017) Performance enhancement of solar air heater using herringbone corrugated fins. Energy 127:271–279

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Nahar A, Hasanuzzaman M, Rahim N (2017) Numerical and experimental investigation on the performance of a photovoltaic thermal collector with parallel plate flow channel under different operating conditions in Malaysia. Sol Energy 144:517–528

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Ong K (1995) Thermal performance of solar air heaters: mathematical model and solution procedure. Sol Energy 55:93–109

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Ooshaksaraei P, Sopian K, Zaidi SH, Zulkifli R (2017) Performance of four air-based photovoltaic thermal collectors configurations with bifacial solar cells. Renew Energy 102:279–293

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Shan F, Tang F, Cao L, Fang G (2014) Comparative simulation analyses on dynamic performances of photovoltaic-thermal solar collectors with different configurations. Energy Convers Manag 87:778–786

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Solanki S, Dubey S, Tiwari A (2009) Indoor simulation and testing of photovoltaic thermal (PV/T) air collectors. Appl Energy 86:2421–2428

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Su D, Jia Y, Huang X, Alva G, Tang Y, Fang G (2016) Dynamic performance analysis of photovoltaic – thermal solar collector with dual channels for different fluids. Energy Convers Manag 120:13–24

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Swinbanck W (1963) Long wave radiation from clear skies. Q J R Meteorol Soc 89:338

    Google Scholar 

  25. Yeh H, Ho C, Hou J (2002) Collector efficiency of double-flow solar air heaters with fins attached. Energy 27(8):715–727

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Yusof M, Othman H, Yatim B, Sopian K, Nazari M, Bakar A (2017) Performance analysis of a double-pass photovoltaic/thermal ( PV/T ) solar collector with CPC and fins. Renew Energy 30:2005–2017

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mohammed Mossad Hegazy.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hegazy, M.M., El-Sebaii, A., Ramadan, M.R. et al. Comparative study of three different designs of a hybrid PV/T double-pass finned plate solar air heater. Environ Sci Pollut Res 27, 32270–32282 (2020).

Download citation


  • Hybrid PV/T system
  • Thermal efficiency
  • Pumping power
  • PV module