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Research Papers

Passive Thermal Management of Photovoltaic Modules—Mathematical Modeling and Simulation of Photovoltaic Modules

[+] Author and Article Information
Abdelhakim Hassabou, Ahmed Abotaleb, Amir Abdallah

Qatar Environment and Energy
Research Institute (QEERI),
Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU),
Qatar Foundation,
P.O. Box 34110,
Doha, Qatar

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received April 24, 2017; final manuscript received July 24, 2017; published online September 28, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Gerardo Diaz.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 139(6), 061010 (Sep 28, 2017) (9 pages) Paper No: SOL-17-1155; doi: 10.1115/1.4037384 History: Received April 24, 2017; Revised July 24, 2017

Operation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems under high temperatures and high humidity represents one of the major challenges to guarantee higher system’s performance and reliability. The PV conversion efficiency degrades considerably at higher temperatures, while dust accumulation on PV module together with atmospheric water vapor condensation may cause a thick layer of mud that is difficult to be removed. Therefore, thermal management in hot climates is crucial for reliable application of PV systems to prevent the efficiency to drop due to temperature rise. This research focuses on the utilization of phase-change materials (PCM) for passive thermal management of solar systems. The main focus is to explore the effect of utilization of PCM-based cooling elements on the thermal behavior of solar PV modules. This paper presents the mathematical modeling and validation of PV modules. Both simulation and experimental data showed that the significant increase in PV peak temperature in summer affects the module’s efficiency, and consequently produced power, by 3% compared to standard testing condition (STC) as an average over the entire day, while it goes up to 8% and 10% during peak noon hours in winter and summer, respectively.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) Part of the STF the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), Doha, Qatar. Where various solar PV technologies were installed for testing, and (b) water vapor condensation at the front glass of thin film PV module technology was observed.

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Fig. 2

Energy and heat flow on macroscale balances in PV solar module

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Fig. 3

Current–voltage (IV) curve measured at two different module temperatures for a silicon heterojunction (HIT, from Panasonic) PV module under outdoor testing conditions

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Fig. 4

Module back temperature (a) Jan. 15, 2016, (b) Mar. 10, 2016, (c) Aug. 15, 2015, and (d) Nov. 15, 2015

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Fig. 5

PV power produced (a) Jan. 15, 2016, (b) Mar. 10, 2016, (c) Aug. 15, 2015, and (d) Nov. 15, 2015

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Fig. 6

Module efficiency (a) Feb. 1, 2016 and (b) July 20, 2015

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Fig. 7

Module back temperature (a) Feb. 1, 2016 and (b) July 20, 2015

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Fig. 8

PV power produced (a) Feb. 1, 2016 and (b) July 20, 2015

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Fig. 9

Temperature profile (a) Feb. 1, 2016 and (b) July 20, 2015

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Fig. 10

Relative humidity (a) Feb. 1, 2016 and (b) July 20, 2015

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Fig. 11

Wind velocity (a) Feb. 1, 2016 and (b) July 20, 2015

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Fig. 12

Heat transfer coefficient (a) Feb. 1, 2016 and (b) July 20, 2015

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