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Research Papers

Gravity-Assisted Heat Pipe With Strong Marangoni Fluid for Waste Heat Management of Single and Dual-Junction Solar Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Van P. Carey

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of California, Berkeley,
6123 Etcheverry Hall, Mailstop 5117,
University of California at Berkeley,
Berkeley, CA 94720-1740

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received January 12, 2012; final manuscript received May 21, 2012; published online January 25, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Santiago Silvestre.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 135(2), 021015 (Jan 25, 2013) (8 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1011; doi: 10.1115/1.4007937 History: Received January 12, 2012; Revised May 21, 2012

This study investigates the cooling of single and multijunction solar cells with an inclined, gravity-assisted heat pipe, containing a 0.05 M 2-propanol/water mixture that exhibits strong concentration Marangoni effects. Heat pipe solar collector system thermal behavior was investigated theoretically and semi-empirically through experimentation of varying input heat loads from attached strip-heaters to simulate waste heat generation of single-junction monocrystalline silicon (Si), and dual-junction GaInP/GaAs photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. Several liquid charge ratios were investigated to determine an optimal working fluid volume that reduces the evaporator superheat while enhancing the vaporization transport heat flux. Results showed that a 45% liquid charge, with a critical heat flux of 114.8 W/cm2, was capable of achieving the lowest superheat levels, with a system inclination of 37 deg. Solar cell semiconductor theory was used to evaluate the effects of increasing temperature and solar concentration on cell performance. Results showed that a combined PV/heat pipe system had a 1.7% higher electrical efficiency, with a concentration ratio 132 suns higher than the stand-alone system. The dual-junction system also exhibited enhanced performance at elevated system temperatures with a 2.1% greater electrical efficiency, at an operational concentration level 560 suns higher than a stand-alone system.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) Experimental apparatus with embedded heat pipe (b) schematic diagram for the experimental setup

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Fig. 2

Heat pipe multiphase transport schematic, comprised of heat input at the evaporator section and heat extraction at the condenser

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Fig. 3

Heat pipe evaporator wall superheat versus incident solar concentration for a 37 deg system orientation, 0.05 M 2-propanol/water mixture, 30%,40%, 45%, 50%, and 70% liquid charge ratios and with a ηcell=14% mono-Si solar cell

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Fig. 4

Mono-Si single-junction solar cell electrical efficiency as a function of temperature and solar concentration, for a gravity-assisted heat pipe with a 37 deg orientation, 0.05 M 2-propanol/water mixture and 45% liquid charge ratio

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Fig. 5

Projected single p-n junction monocrystalline silicon solar cell electrical properties versus solar concentration

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Fig. 6

Empirical electrical efficiency projections, for a single p-n junction mono-Si solar cell, with and without a heat pipe containing a 0.05 M 2-propanol/water working fluid with a 45% liquid charge

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Fig. 7

Projected multijunction InGaP/GaAs junction solar cell electrical properties versus solar concentration with a gravity-assisted heat pipe in a 37 deg orientation and a 0.05 M 2-propanol/water working fluid mixture at 45% liquid charge

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Fig. 8

Empirical electrical efficiency projections, for a tandem multijunction GaAs/GaInP solar cell, with and without a heat pipe containing a 0.05 M 2-propanol/water working fluid with a 45% liquid charge

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