0
Technical Brief

Water Cooling Method to Improve the Performance of Field-Mounted, Insulated, and Concentrating Photovoltaic Modules

[+] Author and Article Information
Matthew K. Smith, Hanny Selbak

Department of Chemistry and Department
of Mechanical and Materials Engineering,
Portland State University,
Portland, OR 97207-0751

Carl C. Wamser

Department of Chemistry,
Portland State University,
Portland, OR 97207-0751 
e-mail: wamserc@pdx.edu

Nicholas U. Day

Department of Chemistry,
Portland State University,
Portland, OR 97207-0751

Mathew Krieske, David J. Sailor

Department of Mechanical
and Materials Engineering,
Portland State University,
Portland, OR 97207-0751

Todd N. Rosenstiel

Department of Biology,
Portland State University,
Portland, OR 97207-0751

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received June 6, 2013; final manuscript received December 23, 2013; published online January 31, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Santiago Silvestre.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 136(3), 034503 (Jan 31, 2014) (4 pages) Paper No: SOL-13-1159; doi: 10.1115/1.4026466 History: Received June 06, 2013; Revised December 23, 2013

The installation rate of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules worldwide is at an all-time high and is projected to continue to grow as the cost of PV technology is reduced. It is important to note that PV power generation is heavily influenced by the local climate. In particular, for crystalline silicon-based PV devices, as the operating temperature of the panel increases, the efficiency decreases. Higher operating temperatures also lead to accelerated material and mechanical degradation, potentially compromising system effectiveness over the lifetime of the panels. In addition, atmospheric pollution can cause particle deposition on the surface of PV modules (soiling), reducing the amount of solar irradiance that reaches the PV material and reducing panel efficiency. Various cooling and cleaning methods have been proposed in the literature to mitigate these problems. In this study, a uniform film of water was continuously recirculated by pumping over the surface of a solar panel using an emitter head attached to the top of the panel. The water cooling technique was able to maintain panel temperature below 40 °C while adjacent untreated panels were operating near 55 °C. Besides the efficiency improvements due to cooling, the film of water also kept the panels clean, avoiding any reduced power output caused by panel soiling. Additional studies were carried out with artificially chilled cooling fluid, insulating materials, and side mirrors to examine the cooling system performance under different installation scenarios. Water cooling is concluded to be an effective means of increasing the efficiency of monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic panels. Under normal operating conditions, the increased energy output from the panels is more than sufficient to compensate for the energy required to pump the water.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
<>
Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

International Energy Agency, 2011, Deploying Renewables: Best and Future Policy Practice, OECD Publishing, Paris.
King, D. L., Kratochvil, and J. A., Boyson, W. E., 1997, “Temperature Coefficients for PV Modules and Arrays: Measurement Methods, Difficulties, and Results,” Conference Record of the 26th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Anaheim, CA, September 29–October 3, pp. 1183–1186. [CrossRef]
Hacke, P., Terwilliger, K., Glick, S., Trudell, D., Bosco, N., Johnston, S., and Kurtz, S., 2010, “Test-to-Failure of Crystalline Silicon Modules,” 35th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC), Honolulu, HI, June 20–25, pp. 244–250.
García, M., Marroyo, L., Lorenzo, E., and Pérez, M., 2008, “Experimental Energy Yield in 1·5 × and 2 × PV Concentrators With Conventional Modules,” Prog. Photovolt.: Res. Appl., 16(3), pp. 261–270. [CrossRef]
Rönnelid, M., Karlsson, B., Krohn, P., and Wennerberg, J., 2000, “Booster Reflectors for PV Modules in Sweden,” Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl., 8(3), pp. 279–291. [CrossRef]
Huang, B. J., and Sun, F. S., 2007, “Feasibility Study of One-Axis Three- Positions Tracking Solar PV With Low Concentration Ratio Reflector,” Energy Conv. Manage., 48(4), pp. 1273–1280. [CrossRef]
Al-Hasan, A., and Ghoneim, A. A., 2005, “A New Correlation Between Photovoltaic Panel's Efficiency and Amount of Sand Dust Accumulated on Their Surface,” Int. J. Sust. Energy, 24(4), pp. 187–197. [CrossRef]
Kaldellis, J. K., Fragos, P., and Kapsali, M., 2011, “Systematic Experimental Study of the Pollution Deposition Impact on the Energy Yield of Photovoltaic Installations,” Ren. Energy, 36(10), pp. 2717–2724. [CrossRef]
Kaldellis, J. K., and Kokala, A., 2010, “Quantifying the Decrease of the Photovoltaic Panels' Energy Yield Due to Phenomena of Natural Air Pollution Disposal,” Energy, 35(12), pp. 4862–4869. [CrossRef]
Hammond, R., Srinivasan, D., Harris, A., Whitfield, K., and Wohlgemuth, J., 1997, “Effects of Soiling on PV Module and Radiometer Performance,” Conference Record of the 26th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Anaheim, CA, September 29–October 3, pp. 1121–1124. [CrossRef]
Massi Pavan, A., Mellit, A., and De Pieri, D., 2011, “The Effect of Soiling on Energy Production for Large-Scale Photovoltaic Plants,” Sol. Energy, 85(5), pp. 1128–1136. [CrossRef]
Vivar, M., Herrero, R., Antón, I., Martínez-Moreno, F., Moretón, R., Sala, G., Blakers, A. W., and Smeltink, J., 2010, “Effect of Soiling in CPV Systems,” Sol. Energy, 84(7), pp. 1327–1335. [CrossRef]
Smith, M. K., Wamser, C. C., James, K. J., Moody, S. S., Sailor, D. J., and Rosenstiel, T. N., 2013, “Effects of Natural and Manual Cleaning on Photovoltaic Output,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 135(3), p. 034505. [CrossRef]
Krauter, S., Hanitsch, R., Campbell, P., and Wenham, S. R., 1994, “Optical Modeling, Simulation and Improvement of PV Module Encapsulation,” Proceedings of the 12th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, Amsterdam, April 11–15, pp. 1198–1201.
Chow, T. T., 2010, “A Review on Photovoltaic/Thermal Hybrid Solar Technology,” Appl. Energy, 87(2), pp. 365–369. [CrossRef]
Krauter, S., 2004, “Increased Electrical Yield Via Water Flow Over the Front of Photovoltaic Panels,” Sol. Energy Mater. Solar Cells, 82(1–2), pp. 131–137. [CrossRef]
Odeh, S., and Behnia, M., 2009, “Improving Photovoltaic Module Efficiency Using Water Cooling,” Heat Transfer Eng., 30(6), pp. 499–505. [CrossRef]
Abdolzadeh, M., and Ameri, M., 2009, “Improving the Effectiveness of a Photovoltaic Water Pumping System by Spraying Water Over the Front of the Photovoltaic Cells,” Ren. Energy, 34(1), pp. 91–96. [CrossRef]
Kordzadeh, A., 2010, “The Effects of Nominal Power of Array and System Head on the Operation of Photovoltaic Water Pumping Set With Array Surface Covered by a Film of Water,” Ren. Energy, 35(5), pp. 1098–1102. [CrossRef]
Kim, D. J., Kim, D. H., Bhattarai, S., and Oh, J. H., 2011, “Simulation and Model Validation of the Surface Cooling System for Improving the Power of a Photovoltaic Module,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 133(4), p. 041012. [CrossRef]
Moharram, K. A., Abd-Elhady, M. S., Kandil, H. A., and El-Sherif, H., 2013, “Enhancing the Performance of Photovoltaic Panels by Water Cooling,” Ain Shams Eng. J., 4(4), pp. 869–877. [CrossRef]
Cazzaniga, R., Rosa-Clot, M., Rosa-Clot, P., and Tina, G. M., 2012, “Floating Tracking Cooling Concentrating (FTCC) Systems,” 38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC), Austin, TX, June 3–8, pp. 000514–000519. [CrossRef]
“Solar PDX,” 2013, Portland State University Photovoltaic Test Facility, Portland, OR, accessed Dec. 11, 2013, http://solar.pdx.edu/home/
“M210—Microinverter,” 2013, Enphase Energy Inc., Petaluma, CA, accessed Dec. 11, 2013, http://enphase.com/wp-uploads/enphase.com/2011/09/Enphase-Datasheet-M210-Microinverter.pdf

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic representation of the experimental modules, where x represents the location of temperature sensors. Panel 6B was the only one fitted with the water cooling system.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Power gain and temperature reduction using surface cooling on panel 6B on May 12, 2012. The pump was activated at 11:10 am. Power outputs and temperatures of control panels 6A, 6C, 6D, and 5A–5D are shown for reference.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Power gain and temperature reduction using both surface cooling and concentrating mirrors on Panel 6B from 12:30 to 3:00 PM on July 7, 2012. Power outputs and temperatures of control panels 6A, 6C, 6D, and 5 A–5D are shown for reference.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Power gain and temperature reduction using surface cooling on panel 6B when both panel 6B and panel 6C were insulated on July 9, 2012. Power outputs and temperatures of control panels 6A, 6C, 6D, and 5A–5D are shown for reference.

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In