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Performance Evaluation of a Parallel Dual Tank PV/T Solar-Assisted

Heat Pump System under Tunisian (North Africa) Climatic Conditions

Taoufik BRAHIMa and Abdelmajid JEMNIb

a University of Sousse, Higher Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology of Sousse (ISSAT-Sousse-Tunisia)

ab University of Monastir, National School of Engineers of Monastir, Laboratory of Studies of Thermal and Energy Systems-
LESTE- Tunisia

Corresponding Authors:

Email : taoufik.brahim@yahoo.fr, Abdelmajid.jemni@enim.rnu.tn


This paper aims to explore the opportunity provided in Tunisian households by the expenditure of parallel Indirect Dual
Tank PV/T heat pump solar system. The goal is to evaluate the system's instantaneous thermal and electric power outputs.
The results showed that the average instantaneous thermal and electric energy efficiency is about 39.65 and 11.38 %,
respectively. The evaluation of the monthly/annual performances of the PV/T-heat pump solar system showed that PV/T
system could cover the electrical Tunisian household with an annual average gain of 8.36%. These results can be
explained by the relatively low temperatures of the PV modules averaging 29.5ºC during operation. The HP consumed an
annual average electric power of 50.44 kWh/m2, which amounts to 58.68 % of the annual PV/T electric energy supplied.
The new model simulation method was developed based on three separate models and optimization was achieved with a
financial analysis to fully fulfill the hot water requirement. Results are also compared and showed good agreement with
previous works

Keywords: PV/T heat pump, dual tank, optimization


area, m2

specific heat capacity, J/kg.K


coefficient of Performance

diameter, m

energy, J


electrical power, W

gravity constant

heat transfer coefficient, W/m2.K

Page 3
heat transfer coefficient, W/m2.K


radiation heat transfer coefficient, W/m2.K


enthalpy, J/kg

irradiation, W/m2

thermal conductivity, W/m.K

length, m

mass flow rate


Nusselt number

power, w


packing factor


Raleigh number


Reynolds number

temperature, K

time, s

velocity, m/s


absorption coefficient

thermal expansion coefficient

the ratio of the specific heats

thickness, m

Page 4


efficiency per volume

dynamic viscosity, Pa.s

kinematic viscosity, m2/s

pressure ratio

density, kg/m3

Stefan-Boltzman constant, Wm2.K4


tits angle, deg




adhesive (EVA)


building hot water demand







domestic hot water




Page 5

glass -cover



heat pump

insulation, hour





radiant, refrigerant







wind, water

absorber plate


PV cell


black tedlar-polyester-tedlar


Tunisia can be a leader in the utilization of solar with a total amount of solar irradiation greater than 2300kWh/m2. Using
solar energy through solar collectors offers a great prospect and opportunity to reduce the amount of conventional energy
needed with considerable potential to reduce pollution. The generation of PV electricity with thermal collectors now seemed
promising to increase the efficiency of renewable energy sources by providing redundant energy output.

In view of this, one of the few significant hybrid technologies that can be incorporated to provide optimum and
energy-efficient system performance is the hybrid PVT heat pump system or the heat pump assisted PVT (SAHP)
technology. Therefore, heat pump (HP) systems can capture low-grade thermal energy from the atmosphere and waste
heat for use in water/ space heating applications, and are officially considered to be renewable energy sources [1]. The
typical solar domestic hot water system will significantly reduce the reliance on electric consumption of a house. Using a
heat pump as part of the design will further boost the device.

The hybrid system can usually be classified as parallel and the Hybrid PVT- heat pump series. In terms of configurations,
61% of the devices were parallel only, 6% were series only, and 33% had a mixture of parallel and series modes of
operation [2]. The parallel system had efficiencies marginally higher than the serial and dual-source systems. Freeman et
al.[3] noted that work input into the heat pump was needed in series and dual source systems to supply the collected solar
Page 6
al.[3] noted that work input into the heat pump was needed in series and dual source systems to supply the collected solar
energy to space while direct heating from the solar coil did not require additional heat pump work for the parallel system..
The heat pump would in effect serve as an additional source of energy to the combined system. In addition, the grid
electricity consumption for the operation of the heat pump itself can be reduced by using the electricity provided by the PV
panels [4]. Most studies show that the PV/T systems harmonize with other energy systems. Chandrashekar et al. [5] noted
that the combination of higher collector efficiencies and COP of the dual-source heat pump system outweighed the
drawback of having to use the heat pump to supply space heating solar energy. The parallel network has therefore
achieved greater energy efficiency. A detailed study of the PVT / heat pump system was performed in China, considering
the impact of the pump speed. Experimental setups were carried out particularly on a prototype of an unglazed PVT
evaporator device [6, 7]. Results show that maximum COP of 10.4 with an average value of 5.4 with a water supply
temperature of 20°C is achieved in winter-day [8, 9]. Results from simulation revealed PVT-HP systems perform better than
conventional SAHP system. Using R-134a as heat pump refrigerant, the PV-SAHP system can achieve annual average
COP of 5.93 by fixing compressor speed and refrigerant flow. The PV/T system showed an overall electrical output range of
0.64 to 0.87 and a thermal efficiency range of 0.53-0.64 and a PV range of 0.124 to 0.135. [10]. Pei et al.[11] conducted a
comparative study suggesting that a single-glass PV-SAHP coating system could improve the efficiency of photothermic
exergy. A glazed PV/T collector cannot well act as a PVT evaporator during the warm seasons. The air temperature in cold
weather, however, can be much lower than the evaporating temperature. This leads to a significant increase of heat loss in
the PV evaporator section. Therefore, the photothermic performance and the COP system could be enhanced with glassed
PV/T systems. Pei et al.[12] also verified these findings by suggesting that in the presence of glass cover for winter service,
the overall PVT exergy performance and machine COP can be improved. Bai et al.[13] conducted a simulation study on
PVT /water-assisted heat pump for the development of hot water under various climatic conditions. They also conducted
economic assessments.

The results show that the performance of the Hong Kong network is higher than the three French cities. The cost-payback
period, however, is the longest in Hong Kong due to the no-government tax cut. Bakker et al. [14] introduced a PVT / water
roofing system coupled with a ground-heat pump. Evaluation using TRNSYS software showed that the system could meet
nearly one family's electrical and heating requirements. Kern and Russel. [15] revealed the high COP value of a PVT-SAHP
(solar-assisted heat pump) device, powered by solar power and thermal energy. Ito et al. [16, 17] conducted several
experimental studies of PVT-SAHP systems. Ji et al. [18] also performed a PVT-SAHP program experimental analysis and
compared the findings with a mathematical model. Some improvements have been recorded in PVT-SAHP evaporator
systems based on theoretical simulation [19]. The accuracy of the solar collector's operating temperature estimate is
considered the most significant parameter in both PV electricity generation and the reciprocal exchange of energy [20].

With the direct interaction of both PV electricity generation and

the PVT collector's thermodynamics, the coordinated exchange of energy between the PVT evaporator and the HPWH
(heat pump water heat) device could be measured well and with greater precision.

From the literature review, we can conclude that the possible impact of heat pumps depends on various parameters, such
as the climatic conditions and the accuracy of external PV cell temperature calculations. Also as author information, given
the potential advantages of using heat pumps, very few works were carried out in climatic conditions in North Africa. This
research is intended to discuss. In addition, the parallel Dual Tank PV / T solar assisted heat pump has not been tested at
these locations until now. The main objective of this paper is therefore to introduce these systems at such locations and a
new theoretical model has been developed to determine the possible use of these systems. Nonetheless, comparative
studies of parallel, series, and dual-source systems have to be carried out for the most suitable configuration in residential
buildings in North Africa.

Mathematical Model

The heat transfer equations were built for different layers of the PV /

T according to the general energy equation applied for that particular layer (Fig.1).

The following statements are made with a view to simplification:

• The flow is considered fully laminar and incompressible and the flow rate in uniform.

• The thermal-physical properties of the absorber tube are constant

• The upper and back surface losses are the same.

• The atmosphere can be viewed as a black body at an equal atmosphere temperature for long-wavelength radiation.

The numerical process starts with the solar radiation, the atmospheric conditions for measuring the temperature of the solar
PV cell, and the temperature of the PV cell back, as well as the temperature of the fluid outlet. The formula used for
evaluating global solar radiation is based on a updated model of Maatallah et al. [21].

The amount of direct radiation, I, intercepted by a perpendicular surface is expressed as [22]:

I=Gscexp-TL0.9+9.4 sins (1)

whereGsc, TL and s are the solar constant, the Linke's trouble factor and the solar altitude respectively. The Linke's trouble
factor TL is expressed as the following:

TL=2.4+14.6+0.41+2lnPp (2)

Where =0.1 and Pp ( expressed in mm Hg) are the atmospheric trouble and the partial pressure respectively.

Page 7
Pp=760101325Pat-Pdr (3)

Where Pat and Pdr=1.01222105 Pa are the atmospheric pressure (in Pascal) and the pressure of the dry air respectively.

The solar altitude s, which is the angle between the horizontal and the line to the sun, can be given using the following

sins=sinsin+coscoscosw (4)

Where w the hour angle expressed as:

w=ts-1215° (5)

The solar time ts has the following expression:

ts= Tc+15-Zc+ET (6)

Where is the difference on longitude and Zc is the tile zone east of GMT.

The equation of time ET is:

ET -0.0002-0.47497cosB+3.2265cos2B+

0.0903cos3B+7.3509sinB+9.392sin2B+3.3361 sin3B (7)

where B is the mean anomaly of the earth, called also the fractional year,

According to this model, the beam solar radiation component Ib received by a horizontal surface is given by the following

Ib=I. sins (8)

The diffuse solar radiation component Id is calculated by the following formula:

Id=54.8 sinsTL-0.5-sins (9)

Considering the above assumptions, the governing equation of the heat transfer in various layers of PV/T module is given
as follows:

For the glass cover layer:

ggCgdTgdt=gI+hg,skyrTsky-Tg+ha,gTa-Tg+hg,pvr+hg,pvTpv-Tg (10)

The radiation heat transfer coefficient between glazing and the sky hg,skyr can be calculated assuming that the sky is a
blackbody [23]:

hg,skyr= gTg2+Tsky2Tg+Tsky (11)

With Tsky=0.0522Ta1.5 (12)

The convective heat transfer coefficient, ha introduce wind velocity and expressed as [24]:

ha,g=5.7+3.8Vw Vw5 m/sha,g=6.47+Vw0.78 Vw&gt;5 m/s (13)

The heat transfer radiation between the glazing and the photovoltaic module is given as follows:

hg,pvr=Tg2+Tpv2Tg+Tpv1pv+1g-1 (14)

The convective heat transfer coefficient between the glass cover and PV module hg,pv is given by considering the
expression of Nusselt number:

hg,pv=Nuakaa (15)

Where ka and a are the thermal conductivity of the air gap and the distance between the glass and PV module respectively.

The relationship between the Nusselt number Nu and Raleigh number Ra for tilt angles ranging from 0 to 75° [25] is:

Nu=1+1.141-1708sin1.81.6Ra cos 1-1708Ra cos++Ra cos58301/3-1+ (16)

With Ra= gaTpv-Tga3kaa (17)

Where, a and a represent the thermal expansion coefficient and the kinematic viscosity of the air, respectively.

For PV module:

pvpvCpvdTpvdt=pvgI-Ee+hg,pvTg-Tpv+hp,pvTp-Tpv (18)

Page 8
where pv, g and Tp represent the PV module absorptivity, Transmittance of front glazing and the temperature of the black
tedlar absorber plate.

Ee is the electrical power output from PV module.

hp,pv is the heat transfer conduction coefficient between PV module and absorber plate and given as :

hc,pv-p= kadad+ kTPTTPT (19)

Where kadand ad represent respectively the conductivity and the thickness of the adhesive layer (EVA). kTRT and TRT
represent respectively the conductivity and the thickness of the black absorber tedlar layer (TPT).

The electrical energy output Ee can be described as [26]:

Ee=0Pc1-pvTpv-TrefAcI (20)

Ac and Pc are the collector PV area and packing factor respectively.

while the temperature defendant PV cell efficiency is calculated from the PV cell reference efficiency 0=0.155 at reference
operating temperature Tref =25°C and coefficient pv =0.0045°C-1 [27].

Absorber plate

ppCpdTpdt=hp,pvTpv-Tp+hp,tAp,tApTt-Tp+ht,iTi-Tp (21)

WhereAp and Ap,tare the absorber plate surface area and the contact area plate-tube respectively.

Ti and Tt are the surface temperature of the insulation and tube respectively.

hp,t and ht,i are the heat transfer conduction coefficients between the absorber plate and tube and between the absorber
plate and insulation layer respectively.

hp,t= ktt and ht,i= kii

Fluid (water)

wCwAtLtdTwdt=Atht,wTt-Tw-mwCwTw (22)

At and Lt are the inner tube area and tube length respectively.

mw is the water mass flow rate.

ht,w is the forced heat transfer coefficients within the tube and is approximated as in [28].

ht,w= kwDhb2Ren (23)

Re= mwDhwAt (24)

Where Re is the Raynold Number and kw represents the fluid thermal conductivity of water, Dh is the tube hydraulic
diameter and b2, n are numerical constants.


iiCidTidt=ht,iAi,tAiTt-Ti+ hi,aTi-Ta (25)

Ai and Ai,t are the insulation area and the surface contact area between insulation and tube

hi,a is the convective heat transfer coefficient between the insulation layer and ambient assumed to equal to ha,g

Using Newton Raphson analysis, the finite differential method is used to measure the temperature on each solar collector
layer. Solar data available for horizontal surfaces are also calculated for existing sunshine hour tiled collectors in Tunis City
[29]. It is more appropriate to evaluate the instantaneous thermal efficiency in order to specify the sharing of the incident
solar radiation into the useful energy gain and to describe the optical loss effect on the thermal performance of the PV/T
solar collector , th, of PV/T solar collector using the equation [30] and summarized in Table 1 :

th= F'PVK-aTav-TaI-bTav-Ta2I (26)

With Tav is the average temperature collector fluid.

Table 1: PV/T solar system and hot water tank thermal performances.




Page 9
Flow rate, mw



Intercept efficiency,F'PVK


Heat losses factor, a



Heat losses factor, b



Tanks overall loss coefficient, Us



Water tank/condenser model

Refrigerant (R410a) releases heat into the condenser water and is saturated or sub-cooled, cold water is also supplied to
the condenser, and hot water flows out to maintain water temperatures and enable higher output of hot water. The water
tank model assumes that all the heat rejected by the heat pump condenser is stored in the water tank and the water mass
in the tank is further viewed as one uniform body with the same temperature[31].

dEdt= mwCwdTwdt= Qcond (27)

The proposed system consists of a air-to-water heat pump unit, a loop of solar collection, and a seasonal tank. In addition, a
DHW tank is connected to the solar collection process, which could, in effect, be heated, by solar collectors and auxiliary
electric heaters (Fig.1).

For the present simulation, the hot water consumption and energy needs of medium-sized families (4-5 persons) living in
Tunisia are distributed at around 200 l / day at 50 °C during a day according to the profile shown in Fig.2.

The heat discharged to the water in the storage tank in the heat pump condenser takes into account the heat absorbed by
the evaporator model and the work done by the compressor

Qcond= Qeva+Qcomp (28)

Determining the temperatures in the different parts of the sub-components is a critical step in the study of the energy stored
in the system's refrigerant fluid. Such temperatures are used to measure the device enthalpy to determine heat in
components of the heat pump that are dependent on enthalpy values h.

Qj = mrhj (29)

j denotes compressor, condenser or evaporator.

mr is the mass flow of the refrigerant flowing through the system and exchanging heat with the water in the storage tank is
modeled by[32]:

mr= NV1 (30)

N denotes the rotational speed of the compressor in Rpm. V stands to be the clearance volume of the same unit, describes
the efficiency per volume which depends on the pressure ratio = P2P1 which is the ratio of the highest pressure to the
corresponding lowest. 1 is the specific volume at the first state of the heat pump cycle (Fig.1) [33, 34].

= 1- 01/-1 (31)

Where = CpCv the ratio of the specific heats for the refrigerant, and 0 is clearance volumetric fraction of the compressor
obtainable from the manufacturer's data.

The thermal performance of the system is well described by the coefficient of performance as :

COP= QcondQcomp (32)

Page 10
To evaluate the seasonal performance of the heat pump part-load conditions for heating purposes, a mathematical model
proposed by Nadil [35] is used.

The dynamic input parameters for the simulation of the heat pump operation are:

Hourly values of the external air temperature, hourly values of the building energy demand for DHW production Ebd(i)
presented in Fig.2,

Imposed minimum and maximum values of the water temperature in the thermal storage,

The storage heat loss coefficient,

Heat pump power, and COP from the manufacturer in DHW production.

First, the values of energy stored in the hot water tank Es for different hours i is evaluated as fellow:

Esi=wVsCwTsi-Twi (33)

Where Vs=200 litres is the volume storage tank.

Ts and Twi are the hourly tank temperature and the inlet water temperatures respectively.

The thermal energy lost by the hot tank is :

Es,lost=thourUsTsi-Ts,roomi (34)

Us is the overall heat loss heat transfer coefficient of the storage tank

Ts,room is storage room temperature, for the first hour, the mean temperature of the water in the heating storage tank, Ts1,
is set equal to the storage room temperature, Ts,room1

Ts,room (i), must be known. If not available, the values of Ts,room can be estimated as follow:

Ts,roomi=Tin-buTint-Ta(i) (35)

Tin is the selected internal air temperature (typically equal to 20 °C in winter for residential buildings) and bu is the
temperature reduction factor of the storage room. The value of bu can range from 0 (thermal storages placed in a heated
room) to 1 (storages placed outside). bucan be set equal to 0.5 in the case of thermal storages placed in a basement.


Tsi+1=Tsi+Ebdi-Es,lostiwVsCw (36)

The heat pump energy needed to take into account the storage thermal losses, DHW demand, and increase the
temperature of the water to its practically maximum value is:

EHPi=Ebdi+Es,lossi+wVsCwTs,maxi-Ts'i (37)

Ts,max is the maximum storage temperature reached in the heat tank.

Ts'i is the temperature in the DHW storage tank would reach if the heat pump generates the maximum energy which
corresponds to heat pump maximum power PHP,max(i) supplied for the whole ith hour:

PHP,maxi=EHPi.thour (38)

Financial Analysis

The responsibility for the integration depends mainly on the initial investment costs and their payback period. The time of
payback is the year in which the Net Present Value (NPV) is zero.

NPV= 1nSS1+drn-Co (39)

Where Co is the investment costs, Ss= solar saving energy dr the discount rate, n is the number of years.

The levelized cost of energy (LCE) is given by:

LCE= Co+CEEd (40)

Where CE is annual balance basis electricity cost between electricity spending and grid energy sales and Edis the energy
demand for the same period

Therefore, the main objective of this work is to present a reliable method that defines the minimum of LCE that enables the
operation of the device for its lifetime while meeting the needs of the residential.

Result Discussions

A realistic daily time-dependent profile of household DHW demand is required for performing an accurate simulation
Page 11
A realistic daily time-dependent profile of household DHW demand is required for performing an accurate simulation
(Sousse: Lat = 35°4931, Long= 10°3813). DHW's daily profile depends on various parameters: number of users, equipment,
atmospheric conditions, seasonal variations, average daily volume of hot water and annual demand [36]. A typical energy
needs and Tunisian domestic hot water consumption during a typical day are illustrated in Fig.2. An average number of
people/house is 4 to 5 with a 90 % occupancy rate and estimated Daily hot water of 200 (l/day) at 50 °C. The technical
specifications of the glassed PV/T solar collector are shown in Table 2. The flat-plate PV/T solar collector has 72
monocrystalline solar cells of 1.4 m2 aperture area oriented to 45° to the south. The number of PV/T panels is variable
according to the brought present study.

The calculation of heat pump thermal performance coefficient (COP) and compressor power are firstly evaluated using a
separate code with linear regression analysis. Equation of COP and heat pump power are based on data received from
manufacture [37] as shown in Fig.3. The objective is to estimate water tank temperature Tw (Eq.27) by calculating Qcond.
An iterative procedure is then used to correct COP and compressor power.

Table.2: Glassed PV/T panel properties

PV panel area



Tedlar thickness


Glass thickness


Tdlar thermal conductivity



Glass thermal conductivity



Absorber thickness


Glass transmittance


Absorber thermal conductivity



Glass emissivity


Absorber specific heat



Glass specific heat


Absorber emissivity

Page 12

PV cell thickness


Insulation thickness


PV cell absorptivity


Insulation thermal conductivity



PV cell transitivity-absorptivity factor: PV


Tubes number


Packing factor


Tube outer diameter


Nominal Cell effciciency


Tube inner diameter


PV cell thermal conductivity



Tubes pitch distance


PV specific heat


Inlet water temperature


Fig. 4 shows a monthly variation in global solar flux, having the same variation trend as the ambient temperature. The
highest global solar radiation values occur in the summer months (June, July and August), whereas the lowest values are in
the winter months (December, January and February). This is because the elevation angle of the sun during winter
Page 13
the winter months (December, January and February). This is because the elevation angle of the sun during winter
(November, December, and January) is lower in the northern hemisphere than in other seasons. The average monthly
ambient temperature is between around 10.9 °C in the winter months and around 28.6 °C in the summer months. The figure
also indicates that the average monthly PV module temperatures are relatively low (averaging 27.21°C during operation)
resulting in poor power output.

Fig.5 illustrates the variation of hourly PV/T temperatures namely cell and glass cover temperature as well as Tanks
temperature along six days (from 20th to 25th) in winter month (January) and summer month (July). Cell temperature
strongly depends on glass cover temperature, which depends on ambient temperature itself. An average cell temperature of
about 302.5 K is attained and a maximum of 315K. Tank2 temperature depends on Tank 1 temperature as well as
consumer hours and mass flow rate. Maximum Tank 2 temperature reached when no delivered DHW is supplied to the
consumer. An average Tank2 temperature of 312K is attained. The average temperature at the summer month and the
maximum cell is about 313 K and 331.6 K respectively. One can see that at certain hours the temperature of the tank will
reach higher values..This is because no hot water supplied at these times is needed.

Fig.6 shows that the average monthly electric output from the PV / T panels showed a maximum of 32 kWh / m2/month at
its peak, corresponding directly to the solar radiation rates. Solar energy output varies from 11.16 % to 11.68 % with an
average of 11.45 % and decreases marginally in the summer season as the high temperature increases in photovoltaic
cells, causing an similarly high temperature increase.. The figure also shows that electrical energy in cold months (from
January to March) can well satisfy the amount of energy needed during the year for the household of the selected region
with a yearly gain of about 10.37%. The previous work done by Hazami [36] in Tunisia is also compared and the results
show an annual difference of about 11.38 % between them. The disparity in the two models is due to the difference in the
mass flow rates.

Fig.7 demonstrated the PV / T solar Collector's average monthly thermal energy and energy-efficiency improvements. The
thermal energy supplied by the PV/T panel is seen to be insufficient for hot water needs, particularly in January and
February due to lower ambient temperatures and cloudy climate. Conversely, and as predicted, in the summer, when
temperatures are extremely high, the amount of heat energy is higher given the decreased demand for hot water with is an
average annual thermal efficiency of 39.65. A comparison is also made with Hazami's previous work [36] with a mass flow
rate of mw=0.083kgs as used by Hazami [36], the relative thermal efficiency between the current model and the TRNSYS
model [36] is found to be around 0.44%. In summary, we can conclude that, particularly in the winter and autumn season,
PV/T system cannot satisfy the hot water needed for domestic Tunisian households.

Fig.8 illustrate the annual thermal and electrical efficiencies of PV/T solar system for a mass flow rate of 0.02 kg/s. thermal
efficiency increases in summer months and decreases in cold seasons with annual average efficiency of about 27.88%. in
contrary, electrical efficiency is enhanced at cold seasons with an annual average efficiency of about 11.44%.

Fig.9 shows the Total average monthly thermal energy provided and supplied by the heat pump. The monthly useful
thermal power produced by the heat pump (Condenser) has shown a remarkable increase in the vicinity where both the
inlet water temperature from storage tank 2 entering the system and the corresponding ambient temperature of the location
under study rise due to the increase in solar radiation. As the energy supplied by the heat pump increased, the COP of the
pump as well as the energy storage for the tank 2 increased. COP varies from 3.32 to 4.49 with an average of 3.91 under
higher solar radiation. During July the maximum heat pump, energy supplied is reached (193.3 kWh). This increase is
accompanied by a variation in the energy the heat pump (Compressor) receives. Following the decline in radiation
incidence in winter months, this energy decreases to stabilize at around 47 kWh. The figure shows that when we use 10 m2
PV / T panels (about seven panels), there are only two months when the PV / T system can meet the DHW required in May
and September.. There a reciprocal heat pump operation can also used for cooling purposes from June to August. We can
conclude that other optimization solutions such as reducing pump power and increasing the number of solar panels, as we
shall see next can be chosen.

Fig.10 indicates two separate PVT-SAHP device case optimization approaches that can be used at the location under
review to fulfill the hot water needs of the Tunisian household. We consider a PV/T row, in case:1, the heat pump supplies
the majority part of the required thermal energy. The maximum solar fraction part is obtained in July (22.3%). One can see
that energy supplied by the heat pump is increased in the cold month and decreased in June with maximum heat energy of
approximately 1315.2 kWh. Ten photovoltaic panels with a total area of 14 m2 are used in case: 2. From April to September
(6 months) only the PV/T systems can supply DHW required. Hence, at that moment the heat pump is stopped. In cold
months, both heat pump and PV/T systems deliver the required energy with maximum heat pump energy of around 922
kWh. It is evident that certain cases can be chosen, and optimal solutions depend on the economic evaluation. Results also
show that 39.76 m2 of solar collectors alone can satisfy the selected location's DHW demand.

Fig.11 illustrate the economical analysis for the two cases presented in Fig.10 assuming a discount rate of about 6.5% and
the payback time is determined when NPV = 0.

For the case: 1, C0=8260 USD, CE=1390 US, Ss=1370 USD , LCE=0.149 US, PB=7.9 USD (Payback time (years)). For
case: 2,C0=7420 USD, CE=1620 USD, Ss=1140 US, LCE=0.162 USD, PB=8.7 USD . We can conclude that the optimal
solution is the case: 2 were a large number of PV/T solar panels are used.

Table.3: Monthly and annual electric energy ow per m2


Electric energy

needs (kWh/month)

PV/T Electric energy

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PV/T Electric energy


HP Electric energy

needs (kWh/month)

Electric Gain

without HP (%)

Electric Gain with HP (%)

































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Annual total






Annual average






Table.3 describes the energy flow of electricity, accounting for the output of two pumps (32W). The PV / T network will
cover an average annual gain of 8.36 % per m2 of PV/T installed in the Tunisian household. PV/T collectors have produced
250,04kWh/m2 of electricity installed at an average efficiency of 11.45%. These findings can be explained by the PV
modules' relatively low temperatures-an average of 29.5°C during service. The HP consumed an annual average electric
power of 50.44 kWh/m2, which amounts to 58.68 %percent of the annual PV/T electric energy supplied. However, the
performance could be significantly improved by operating the heat pump when the weather is suitable for high-efficiency
operation and then stored for later use in cold or hot water. The heat pump introduced into the system configuration in an
attempt to further improve the performance by reducing the reliance on the auxiliary electric heaters and thus reducing the
total electricity consumption. It is necessary to note, however, that the presented findings refer to different configurations
(case: 2). Although the potential has been demonstrated, prototypes must be designed and checked for different
applications with appropriately equipped equipment to get an accurate understanding of the potential benefits.


In this paper, under climatic conditions in North Africa, the simulation performance of indirect dual tank PV / T assisted heat
pump solar domestic hot water is analyzed. The model built is a combination of traditional PV/T panel model, storage tank
model Nadil [35], and model Maatallah et al [21]. Through the generation of approximation plots of the output data of the
supplier, the electrical and thermal load requirement for the selected position is analyzed. We concluded that the PV/T
hybrid solar system could not fulfill the entire thermal energy needs of the Tunisian family in the cold time of the year (from
November to Mars). Conversely, in cold months (especially January), the PV/T solar system supplies an excess of electrical
energy with 8.36 % gain while in hot months the system produces less electrical energy than the requests. We may infer
that the rise in solar radiation results in an improvement in the efficiency coefficient of the PV/T heat pump device based on
thermal (COP). Also with better COP, operation of the heat pump will still require energy input. With the parameters used in
this analysis, the use of collected solar energy to directly offset loads to reduce the operation of heat pumps seemed more
advantageous, especially in summer months. A financial analysis is evaluated in order to achieve optimum efficiency and
the approach used will help to further expanded research such as using ground heat pumps or HVACs systems. The model
is also validated and the results showed close agreement with previous works. In summary, a novel approach is used in this
paper to investigate PV/T assisted heat pump system in Tunisia household.


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