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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 869753, 8 pages
Review Article

Concentrating PV/T Hybrid System for Simultaneous Electricity and Usable Heat Generation: A Review

International Research Center for Renewable Energy, State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Flow in Power Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China

Received 18 April 2012; Revised 14 June 2012; Accepted 22 July 2012

Academic Editor: Christophe Menezo

Copyright © 2012 Longzhou Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Photovoltaic (PV) power generation is one of the attractive choices for efficient utilization of solar energy. Considering that the efficiency and cost of PV cells cannot be significantly improved in near future, a relatively cheap concentrator to replace part of the expensive solar cells could be used. The photovoltaic thermal hybrid system (PV/T), combining active cooling with thermal electricity and providing both electricity and usable heat, can enhance the total efficiency of the system with reduced cell area. The effect of nonuniform light distribution and the heat dissipation on the performance of concentrating PV/T was discussed. Total utilization of solar light by spectral beam splitting technology was also introduced. In the last part, we proposed an integrated compound parabolic collector (CPC) plate with low precision solar tracking, ensuring effective collection of solar light with a significantly lowered cost. With the combination of beam splitting of solar spectrum, use of film solar cell, and active liquid cooling, efficient and full spectrum conversion of solar light to electricity and heat, in a low cost way, might be realized. The paper may offer a general guide to those who are interested in the development of low cost concentrating PV/T hybrid system.