Numerical heat transfer modeling and climate adaptation analysis of vacuum-photovoltaic glazing

Yutong Tan, Jinqing Peng, Yimo Luo, Zhengyi Luo, Charlie Curcija, Yueping Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)


Vacuum-photovoltaic (VPV) glazing has attracted much attention due to its excellent thermal insulation performance and its ability to utilize solar energy. However, few simulation models have been established based on actual products and rarely have been validated by experiments. In this paper, a four-layer CdTe-based VPV glazing was developed and the corresponding numerical heat transfer model was established with the integration of a dynamic power generation model. The numerical model was then validated against both the results from the WINDOW program and a guarded hot box experiment. Afterward, the validated model was employed to analyze the energy and power generation performance of the VPV glazing in diverse climate zones in China with Harbin, Beijing, Changsha, Guangzhou, and Kunming used as representative cities. The numerical simulation results indicate that the U-value of the proposed VPV glazing is 0.89 W/(m2⋅K), which is in good agreement with the experimental results. Compared with a normal double glazing, the average energy reductions achieved with VPV glazing in air conditioning seasons are 128 kWh/m2, 23 kWh/m2, 45 kWh/m2, and 52 kWh/m2 in Harbin, Beijing, Changsha, and Guangzhou, respectively. In addition, the average annual power outputs of VPV glazing in Harbin, Beijing, Changsha, Guangzhou, and Kunming are 47 kWh/m2, 48 kWh/m2, 34 kWh/m2, 36 kWh/m2, and 45 kWh/m2, respectively. The numerical model developed in this study can be used for energy-saving potential analysis and optimization of VPV glazing in different meteorological conditions, the results of which could provide guidance for the effective application of VPV glazing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number118747
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date1 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2022

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© 2022, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.


The National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51978252), the Training Program for Excellent Young Innovators of Changsha (No. kq2009041), the High-tech Industry Technology Innovation Leading Plan of Hunan Province (2020GK2076), and the Science and Technology Innovation Program of Hunan Province (2017XK2015). The support to Dr. Yueping Fang from EU Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Global Fellowship, with grant number of 841183, is appreciated.


  • Vacuum-photovoltaic glazing Numerical model Heat transfer Climate adaptation analysis Electrical power output
  • Numerical model
  • Heat transfer
  • Climate adaptation analysis
  • Electrical power output

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Building and Construction


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