Huiming Yin is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Columbia University. He discussed his research "Design Efficiency Prediction of a Multifunctional Solar Roofing Panel" with ChEnected at the Second International Congress on Sustainability Science and Engineering (ICOSSE). Watch the interview in the video located in the right panel.
A multifunctional hybrid solar system has been designed to utilized photovoltaic (PV) cells, thermoelectric (TE) modules, and hot water (HW) through a building roof with high performance with regard to energy efficiency, environmental sustainability, and structural integrity. Water tubes are cast within a functionally graded material layer to serve as a heat sink, allowing heat to be easily transferred into following water through an aluminum rich surface, which remaining insulated by a polymer rich bottom. This design is general and open to new PV and TE materials with emerging nanotechnology for higher efficiencies.