Research Papers

Energy Efficient Two-Phase Microcooler Design for a Concentrated Photovoltaic Triple Junction Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
Alexander Reeser

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742
e-mail: reeser@umd.edu

Peng Wang

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742
e-mail: wangp2007@gmail.com

Gad Hetsroni

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology,
Technion City,
Haifa, Israel
e-mail: hetsroni@tx.technion.ac.il

Avram Bar-Cohen

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742
e-mail: abc@umd.edu

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received January 8, 2013; final manuscript received April 3, 2014; published online May 2, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Santiago Silvestre.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 136(3), 031015 (May 02, 2014) (11 pages) Paper No: SOL-13-1011; doi: 10.1115/1.4027422 History: Received January 08, 2013; Revised April 03, 2014

The potential application of an R134a-cooled two-phase microcooler for thermal management of a triple junction solar cell (CPV), under concentration of 2000 suns, is presented. An analytical model for the triple-junction solar cell temperature based on prediction of two-phase flow boiling in microchannel coolers is developed and exercised with empirical correlations from the open literature for the heat transfer coefficient, pressure drop, and critical heat flux. The thermofluid analysis is augmented by detailed energy modeling relating the solar energy harvest to the “parasitic” work expended to provide the requisite cooling, including pumping power and the energy consumed in the formation and fabrication of the microcooler itself. Three fin thicknesses, between 100 μm and 500 μm, a variable number of fins, between 0 and 9, and 5 channel heights between 0.25 mm and 3 mm, are examined for a R134a flow rate of 0.85 g/s to determine the energy efficient microcooler design for a 10 mm × 10 mm triple junction CPV cell.

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Fig. 1

Thermal resistance model: (a) solar cell; (b) thermal interface material; (c) microcooler; (d) adiabatic cover plate

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Fig. 2

Comparison of CHF as a function of exit vapor quality

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Fig. 3

Single-phase and two-phase effective heat transfer coefficient; R134a flow rate: 0.85 g/s

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Fig. 4

Single-phase and two-phase pressure drop; R134a flow rate: 0.85 g/s

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Fig. 5

Single-phase and two-phase pumping power; R134a flow rate: 0.85 g/s

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Fig. 6

Solar cell base temperature common to single-phase and two-phase cooling

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Fig. 7

Solar energy harvest for a R134a-cooled two-phase microcooler; R134a flow rate: 0.85 g/s

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Fig. 8

Single-phase and two-phase coefficient of performance; R134a flow rate: 0.85 g/s

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Fig. 9

Single-phase and two-phase total coefficient of performance (COPT); R134a flow rate: 0.85 g/s

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Fig. 10

Pumping work percentage versus number of channels; R134a flow rate: 0.85 g/s

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Fig. 11

Comparison of COPT, pumping power, and solar energy harvest at constant cell base temperature; R134a flow rate: 0.85 g/s



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