Design, construction and performance prediction of integrated solar roof collectors using finite element analysis

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An integrated roof solar collector was designed to achieve ease of construction, energy efficiency, functional integration, composite behavior, sustainability, reliability, flexibility, and cost effectiveness. A construction strategy was developed for the collector to ensure quality, ease and repeatability of manufacturing. Three-dimensional (3D) finite element models were then developed to evaluate the thermal performance of the integrated roof solar collector. The models were used to predict the optimum set of variables that can be used in buildings to achieve adequate thermal comfort. Coupled conduction, forced convection, and long wave thermal radiation modes of heat transfer were considered in the developed models. For demonstration purposes, a specific location (Blacksburg, VA) was modeled. Results showed that the integrated roof collector provides acceptable thermal performance by supplying approximately 85% of the building space heating and hot water requirements. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Construction and Building Materials

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