Committee Chair

Dhamshala, Prakash

Committee Member

Hiestand, James; Wang, Endong


Dept. of Mechanical Engineering


College of Engineering and Computer Science


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This thesis deals with the analysis of a Photo Voltaic Thermal (PV/T) panel that is capable of producing simultaneously electric power and low-grade heat energy by absorbing the solar energy striking on its surface. A simple mathematical model is developed to estimate the electric power and heat energy gained by the PV/T panel. A water-to-water heat pump is employed that operates by absorbing the low-grade heat energy obtained from PV/T panel, in its evaporator, in order to produce high temperature hot water in its condenser. The high temperature hot water thus produced can be employed to meet the winter heating and summer cooling of the associated building loads. The heat energy gained from the condenser at high temperature can be sufficient to power the absorption chiller. Based on the results of the computer simulations using hourly weather data, it is found that the proposed system is very effective in meeting the building loads and the estimated value of the payback period (4.62 years) is encouraging for future testing and eventual commercialization, for the similar buildings subjected to weather patterns in the Chattanooga, region. Use of desiccant wheel in combination with heat wheel and evaporative coolers may have a significant impact on the size of the panels and the total economic costs of the system.


I am grateful to the support I received from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and also, my thesis advisor, Dr. Prakash Dhamshala for developing software (TABLET and TAPVT) that were used to obtain the results reported in this thesis. Without his help completion of this thesis would not have been possible. I am also grateful to Dr. James Hiestand and Dr. Endong Wang for serving as committee members and providing the helpful comments in editing the final version of the thesis. Lastly, I thank all my family members and friends for the support in completing this thesis.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Building-integrated photovoltaic systems; Heat engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Document Type

Masters theses




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