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Research Papers

A Three-Dimensional Comprehensive Numerical Investigation of Different Operating Parameters on the Performance of a Photovoltaic Thermal System With Pancake Collector

[+] Author and Article Information
Afroza Nahar

UM Power Energy Dedicated Advanced
Centre (UMPEDAC),
Level 4, Wisma R&D,
University of Malaya,
Kuala Lumpur 59990, Malaysia;
Institute of Graduate Studies,
University of Malaya,
Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
e-mail: afroza@siswa.um.edu.my

M. Hasanuzzaman

UM Power Energy Dedicated Advanced
Centre (UMPEDAC),
Level 4, Wisma R&D,
University of Malaya,
Kuala Lumpur 59990, Malaysia
e-mail: hasan@um.edu.my

N. A. Rahim

UM Power Energy Dedicated Advanced
Centre (UMPEDAC),
Level 4, Wisma R&D,
University of Malaya,
Kuala Lumpur 59990, Malaysia;
Renewable Energy Research Group,
King Abdulaziz University,
Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
e-mail: nasrudin@um.edu.my

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received May 25, 2016; final manuscript received December 9, 2016; published online March 16, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Carlos F. M. Coimbra.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 139(3), 031009 (Mar 16, 2017) (16 pages) Paper No: SOL-16-1239; doi: 10.1115/1.4035818 History: Received May 25, 2016; Revised December 09, 2016

Performance of photovoltaic (PV) module decreases significantly with increasing cell temperature due to its overheating. Photovoltaic thermal (PVT) is an optimized technology that facilitates effective removal and utilization of this excess heat leading to enhanced electrical performance. In this article, a 3D numerical model has been developed and analyzed to investigate the PVT performance with a new pancake-shaped flow channel design. This flow channel is attached directly to the backside of PV module by using thermal paste. The governing equations are solved numerically by using Galerkin's weighted residual finite-element method (FEM), which has been developed using COMSOL Multiphysics® software. The numerical results show that the cell temperature reduces on an average 42 °C, and the electrical efficiency and output power increase by 2% and 20 W, respectively, for both aluminum and copper channels with an increase in inlet velocity from 0.0009 to 0.05 m/s. On the other hand, overall efficiency of the PVT system drops about 13% in both cases as the inlet temperature increases from 20 °C to 40 °C. Cell temperature is found to increase approximately by 5.4 °C and 9.2 °C for every 100 W/m2 increase in irradiation level of the PV module with and without cooling system, respectively. Regarding flow channel material, it has been observed that use of either copper or aluminum produces almost similar performance of the PVT module.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Geometry of PVT collector: (a) front view of the PV panel, (b) 3D view of PVT collector, (c) pancake flow channel, (d) backside view of the PVT collector, and (e) cross-sectional view of the PVT collector

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Fig. 2

PVT collector meshed in COMSOL Multiphysics® using the physics-controlled mesh sequence

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Fig. 3

Model validation of PVT model with experimental data

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Fig. 4

Attainment of steady-state conditions in the simulation study

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Fig. 5

Effect of inlet velocity on temperature distribution throughout the pancake flow channel (for Al with R = 1000 W/m2, Tamb = 27 °C, and Tin = 27 °C): (a) inlet velocity, Uo = 0.0009 m/s, (b) inlet velocity, Uo = 0.002 m/s, (c) inlet velocity, Uo = 0.005 m/s, (d) inlet velocity, Uo = 0.009 m/s, (e) inlet velocity, Uo = 0.02 m/s, and (f) inlet velocity, Uo = 0.05 m/s

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Fig. 6

Effect of inlet temperature on temperature distribution throughout the pancake flow channel (for Al with R = 1000 W/m2 and Uo = 0.005 m/s): (a) inlet temperature, Tin = 20 °C, (b) inlet temperature, Tin = 25 °C, (c) inlet temperature, Tin = 30 °C, (d) inlet temperature, Tin = 35 °C, and (e) inlet temperature, Tin = 40 °C

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Fig. 7

Effect of inlet velocity on temperature distribution throughout panel (for Al flow channel with R = 1000 W/m2, Tamb = 27 °C, and Tin = 27 °C): (a) inlet velocity, Uo = 0.0009 m/s, (b) inlet velocity, Uo = 0.002 m/s, (c) inlet velocity, Uo = 0.005 m/s, (d) inlet velocity, Uo = 0.009 m/s, (e) inlet velocity, Uo = 0.02 m/s, and (f) inlet velocity, Uo = 0.05 m/s

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Fig. 8

The effect of inlet velocity on (a) cell temperature and (b) water outlet temperature of the PV module for both Al and Cu flow channels (Tamb = 27 °C, Tin = 27 °C, and R = 1000 W/m2)

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Fig. 9

Effect of inlet velocity on the performance of PV panel for both Al and Cu flow channels (Tamb = 27 °C, Tin = 27 °C, and R = 1000 W/m2)

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Fig. 10

Effect of inlet temperature on PVT panel performance for both Al and Cu flow channels (Tamb = 27 °C, Uo = 0.005 m/s, and R = 1000 W/m2)

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Fig. 11

Effect of cell temperature (a) and output power (b) on electrical efficiency for both Al and Cu flow channels under the cooling system (Tin = 27 °C, Tamb = 27 °C, and R = 1000 W/m2)

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Fig. 12

Effect of ambient temperature on the performance of PV panel for both Al and Cu flow channels (Tin = 27 °C, Uo = 0.005 m/s, and R = 1000 W/m2)

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Fig. 13

PV performance variation with absorbed radiation for both Al and Cu flow channels (Tamb = 27 °C, Uo = 0.005 m/s, and Tin = 27 °C)

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