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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2014, Article ID 643637, 14 pages
Research Article

Experiment and Simulation Study on the Amorphous Silicon Photovoltaic Walls

1College of Civil Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha, Hunan 410082, China
2Center for Science and Technology of Construction, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Beijing 100835, China

Received 2 May 2014; Revised 7 July 2014; Accepted 21 July 2014; Published 27 August 2014

Academic Editor: Hongxing Yang

Copyright © 2014 Wenjie 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.


Based on comparative study on two amorphous silicon photovoltaic walls (a-Si PV walls), the temperature distribution and the instant power were tested; and with EnergyPlus software, similar models of the walls were built to simulate annual power generation and air conditioning load. On typical sunshine day, the corresponding position temperature of nonventilated PV wall was generally 0.5~1.5°C higher than that of ventilated one, while the power generation was 0.2%~0.4% lower, which was consistent with the simulation results with a difference of 0.41% in annual energy output. As simulation results, in summer, comparing the PV walls with normal wall, the heat per unit area of these two photovoltaic walls was 5.25 kWh/m2 (nonventilated) and 0.67kWh/m2 (ventilated) higher, respectively. But in winter the heat loss of nonventilated one was smaller, while ventilated PV wall was similar to normal wall. To annual energy consumption of heating and cooling, the building with ventilated PV wall and normal wall was also similar but slightly better than nonventilated one. Therefore, it is inferred that, at low latitudes, such as Zhuhai, China, air gap ventilation is suitable, while the length to thickness ratio of the air gap needs to be taken into account.