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Long-term environmental impacts of a small-scale spectral filtering concentrated photovoltaic-thermal system

Rodrigues Fernandes, Marcelo, Schaefer, Laura A.
Energy conversion and management 2019 v.184 pp. 350-361
carbon dioxide, climatic factors, energy conversion, environmental impact, filters, fossil fuels, greenhouse gas emissions, heat, households, power generation, solar energy, solar radiation, Arizona
Recent years have seen a sharp increase in the range and implementation of solar energy conversion systems, with the goal of reducing fossil fuel dependence. One example is a concentrated photovoltaic-thermal (CPV-T) system that uses nanofluid-based optical filters, which can generate electricity and absorb heat from sunlight. Although spectral filtering CPV-T systems have been explored in the literature for power generation, they have not been investigated for domestic applications. In this work, dynamic simulations of a small-scale spectral filtering CPV-T system under the climatic conditions of Tucson, Arizona, are performed. The long-term simulations indicate that the proposed CPV-T system can offset a total of 1.317 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year per household. If implemented in 10% of the households in the U.S., the total offset by the proposed system would be equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from 3.19 million passenger vehicles per year.