The performance of single-pass and double-pass combined photovoltaic thermal collectors are analyzed with steady-state models. The working fluid is air and the models are based on energy conservation at various nodes of the collector. Closed form solutions have been obtained for the differential equations of both the single-pass and double-pass collectors. Comparisons are made between the performances of the two types of combined photovoltaic thermal collectors. The results show that the new design, the double-pass photovoltaic thermal collector, has superior performance. Important parameters for both types of collector are identified, and their effects on the performances of the two types of collectors are presented in detail. (C) 1996 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.