Photovoltaic Warm Façades with Phase Change Materials in European Climates


  • Christian Popp Technische Universität Dresden, Institute of Building Construction
  • Dirk Weiß Technische Universität Dresden, Institute of Building Climatology, Dresden, Germany
  • Katja Tribulowski Technische Universität Dresden, Institute of Building Climatology, Dresden, Germany
  • Bernhard Weller Technische Universität Dresden, Institute of Building Construction, Dresden, Germany



Building-integrated photovoltaics, efficiency increase, phase change materials, thermal simulation, yield simulation


Since façade-integrated photovoltaic (PV) modules heat up greatly, which reduces the efficiency of the
PV, façade panels with PV and phase change materials (PCM) were developed. PCMs absorb a significant
amount of thermal energy during the phase transition from solid to liquid, while maintaining a specific
melting temperature. This cools down the PV and increases the electrical yield. Numerical studies on
PV-PCM warm façades without rear-ventilation have so far been missing. Therefore, a thermal and
an electrical simulation model for PV-PCM warm façades were developed and validated. They were
then used to analyse the yield increase of two PCM-types and -quantities in PV warm façades facing
east, south, and west in Athens, Potsdam, and Helsinki. An annual yield increase of 1.2% to 8.5% for
monocrystalline PV modules was determined. The maximum monthly yield increase is 8.0% in Helsinki,
11.4% in Potsdam, and 11.3% in Athens. The study shows that a case-specific selection of the appropriate
type and quantity of PCM is necessary. Using the models, a design tool for PV-PCM warm façades will be
developed. It will be validated with real monitoring data from PV-PCM façade test rigs at the Technische
Universität Dresden and the National Technical University of Athens


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