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Research Papers

Simulation and Model Validation of the Surface Cooling System for Improving the Power of a Photovoltaic Module

[+] Author and Article Information
Dong-Jun Kim

Dae Hyun Kim1

Sujala Bhattarai

Department of Biosystems Engineering,  Kangwon National University, Hyoja 2 Dong, Chuncheon 192-1, Republic of Korea

Jae-Heun Oh

 Forest Practice Research Center, Korea Forest Research Institute, Jikdong-Ri 51, Soheul-Eup, Pocheon-Si, Gyeonggi-Do 487-821, Republic of Korea

1

Corresponding author.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 133(4), 041012 (Oct 18, 2011) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004508 History: Received January 10, 2011; Revised June 30, 2011; Published October 18, 2011

One of the unique features of photovoltaic (PV) modules is the power drop that occurs as the silicon temperature increases due to the characteristics of the crystalline silicon used in a solar cell. To overcome this reduction in power, module surface cooling using water circulation was employed. The model performance was then conceptually evaluated and experimentally verified. A transient model was developed using energy balances and heat and mass transfer relationships from various other sources to simulate the surface cooling system. The measurements were in good agreement with the model predictions. The maximum deviation between the measured and predicted water and silicon temperature differed by less than 4 °C. The maximum power enhancement in response to the cooling was 11.6% when compared with a control module. The surface cooling system also washed the module surface via water circulation, which resulted in an additional power up of the PV module in response to removal of the particles that interfere with solar radiation from the surface of the PV module. Accordingly, the cooling system could reduce maintenance costs and prevent accidents associated with cleaning. In addition, the increase in cooling water temperature can serve as a heat source. The system developed here can be applied to existing photovoltaic power generation facilities without any difficulties as well.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Variation in Isc , Voc , and power with panel temperature [7]

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Figure 2

Schematic of surface cooling system

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Figure 3

Energy balance for the water on the PV module

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Figure 4

Surface cooling system and control PV module

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Figure 5

Meteorological data collected during the experimental period

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Figure 6

Comparison of predicted and measured water temperature

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Figure 7

Comparison of predicted and measured silicon temperature

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Figure 8

Predicted evaporation rate

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Figure 9

Comparison of the cooling system and control silicon temperature

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Figure 10

Comparison of voltage from the cooling system and the control

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Figure 11

Comparison of current from the cooling system and the control

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Figure 12

Comparison of power from the cooling system and the control

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