Performance Improvement of a CPV System: Experimental Investigation into Passive Cooling with Phase Change Materials

Shivangi Sharma, Nazmi Sellami, Asif A. Tahir, Tapas K. Mallick, Rohit Bhakar

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Abstract

High temperature and overheating of photovoltaic panels lead to efficiency losses and eventual degradation. For solar PV systems, this is a significant impediment for achieving economic viability. In this study, a novel Window-Integrated Concentrated Photovoltaic (WICPV) system is proposed for window integration. This offers high (50%) transparency and is fabricated and characterised indoors at an irradiance of 1000 Wm−2. Its electrical performance is tested (a) without applied cooling (i.e., under natural ventilation) and (b) with a heat sink to accommodate passive cooling media. The results are compared to study the effects of reduction in operating temperature on system performances. The effectiveness of a sensible cooling medium (water) and two latent heat removal media, phase change materials (or PCMs, RT50 and RT28HC), is investigated. This paper reports the passive temperature regulation of this WICPV at ambient testing conditions. The results demonstrate an increase in electrical power output by (i) 17% (RT28HC), (ii) 19% (RT50), and (iii) 25 % (circulating water) compared with the naturally ventilated system. This shows that PCMs are considerably useful for thermal regulation of the WICPV. Any improvement in efficiencies will be beneficial for increasing electrical energy generation and reducing peak energy demands.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3550
JournalEnergies
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Building-Integrated Concentrated Photovoltaic (BICPV)
  • Window-Integrated Concentrated Photovoltaic (WICPV)
  • phase change materials (PCMs)
  • RT28HC
  • RT50
  • thermal management
  • passive cooling

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