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A simulation study was conducted to examine the possibility of using PhotoVoltaic/Thermal (PV/T) panels and unglazed solar collectors for producing cold water through night-time radiative cooling. The cold water was used as the medium for cooling an office in three different cities (Copenhagen, Denmark, Milan, Italy and Athens, Greece) during the cooling period (1st of May - 30th of September). For cooling the office, radiant ceiling panels including Phase Change Material (PCM) were used. In Athens and Milan the operative temperature was within the range of Category III of EN 15251 (23 - 26°C, 73.4 - 78.8 °F) for 81% and 82% of the occupancy period respectively, while in Copenhagen it was within the same range for 63%. Night-time radiative cooling provided for Copenhagen 22%, for Milan 10% and for Athens 4% of the cooling energy required for discharging the PCM. The total electricity produced in Copenhagen for the simulated period was 94.4 kWh/m² (29900 Btu/ft²), while for Milan and Athens it was 96.7 kWh/m² (30700 Btu/ft²) and 111.7 kWh/m² (35400 Btu/ft²)respectively. It was concluded that night-time radiative cooling can be a satisfying solution for providing space cooling to office buildings in northern climates. The performance of the installations could be improved by implementing a solar shading system and a more precise control strategy.

Citation: 2016 Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO, Conference Papers