Simplified Calculation of Solar Cell Temperatures in Terrestrial Photovoltaic Arrays

[+] Author and Article Information
J. G. Ingersoll

Hughes Aircraft Company, El Segundo, CA 90245

J. Sol. Energy Eng 108(2), 95-101 (May 01, 1986) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3268087 History: Received November 01, 1985; Online November 11, 2009


A simplified algorithm to predict the average steady-state temperature of the solar cells in a photovoltaic array has been developed. The methodology can be applied to arrays on the roof (or walls) of buildings as well as on the ground. It is intended primarily for residential buildings, although it can be used for any type of building, and considers all four-array mounting systems (rack, stand-off, direct, and integral). Input parameters in this development include weather (insolation, ambient temperature, wind speed, humidity, and sky cloud cover), as well as building construction and operation characteristics. The photovoltaic array’s geometrical, optical, and thermal properties are used in the analysis as well. Natural or forced convection under the solar panels and/or in the building attic below can also be accounted for by this model. The model has been partially verified against limited measured data and found to be in very good agreement for wind speeds of 1 m/s or more.

Copyright © 1986 by ASME
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