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Field thermal performance of naturally ventilated solar roof with PCM heat sink

: Kosny, J.; Biswas, K.; Miller, W.; Kriner, S.


Solar energy 86 (2012), No.9, pp.2504-2514
ISSN: 0038-092X
ISSN: 0375-9865
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()

For decades, residential and commercial roofs have been considered a prime location for installation of building integrated solar systems. In climatic conditions of East Tennessee, USA, an experimental solar roof was tested during 2009/2010, by a research team representing Metal Construction Association (MCA), and a consortium of building insulation companies, photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers, and energy research centers. The main objective was to thermally evaluate a new roofing technology utilizing amorphous silicon PV laminates integrated with the metal roof panels. In order to mitigate thermal bridging and reduce roof-generated thermal loads, this novel roof/attic assembly contained a phase change material (PCM) heat sink, a ventilated air cavity over the roof deck, and thermal insulation with an integrated reflective surface. During winter, the experimental roof was expected to work as a passive solar collector storing solar heat absorbed during the day, and increas ing overall attic air temperature during the night. During summer, the PCM was expected to act as a heat sink, reducing the heat gained by the attic and consequently, lowering the building cooling-loads. In this paper, field thermal performance data of the experimental PV-PCM roof/attic system are presented and discussed. Performance of the PV-PCM roof/attic is evaluated by comparing it to a control asphalt shingle roof. The test results showed about 30% heating and 50% cooling load reductions are possible with the experimental roof configuration.