Research Papers

Effectiveness of Phase Change Material for Cooling of Photovoltaic Panel for Hot Climate

[+] Author and Article Information
Adeel Waqas

Department of Thermal Science
and Energy Engineering,
University of Science and Technology of China,
96 Jinzhai Road,
Hefei City 230026, China;
Center for Advanced studies in Energy (CASEN),
National University of Science
and Technology (NUST),
H-12 Campus,
Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
e-mails: adeel12@ustc.edu.cn;

Ji Jie

Department of Thermal Science
and Energy Engineering,
University of Science and Technology of China,
96 Jinzhai Road,
Hefei City 230026, China
e-mail: jijie@ustc.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

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 June 28, 2017; final manuscript received February 19, 2018; published online March 27, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Ming Qu.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 140(4), 041006 (Mar 27, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: SOL-17-1253; doi: 10.1115/1.4039550 History: Received June 28, 2017; Revised February 19, 2018

Phase change materials (PCMs) are investigated in this study as an option to reduce the surface temperature of the photovoltaic (PV) cell during sunshine hours to enhance the electrical efficiency of the cells. For this purpose, thermal energy balance model of the PV panel is integrated with PCM enthalpy model. The simulated results of the model have been validated with experimental results from the literature. The results indicate that PCM can be effectively used for limiting the temperature rise of the PV cell, thus increasing the efficiency of the PV cell up to 10%. Peak temperature of the PV cell can be reduced from 86 °C to 57 °C during the hottest summer month. It has observed that maximum benefits can be obtained when PCM melting point is selected in such a way that there is 10–12 °C difference between melting point of PCM and average minimum ambient temperature of the hottest summer month. PCM selected in such way will also require minimum mass. In current study, PCMs with melting points of 40 °C and 44 °C provide the best result compared to the PCMs having melting points of 35 °C and 30 °C with average minimum ambient temperature of 28 °C.

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Fig. 1

Location of the solar park established in Bahawalpur-Pakistan

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Fig. 2

Climatic data of the study area

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Fig. 3

Photovoltaic panel integrated with PCM

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Fig. 4

Discretization of a nodal point inside the PCM domain

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Fig. 5

Comparison of PV cell temperature integrated with PCM with experimental results of Hassan et al. [19]

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Fig. 6

Temperature of PV cell with and without PCM for the month of June

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Fig. 7

Quantity of PCM solidified and liquefied (0 → completely solid; 100% → completely liquid)

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Fig. 8

Effect of melting point of PCM on PV cell temperature

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Fig. 9

Quantity of PCM solidified and liquefied for the first week of June

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Fig. 10

Effect of PCM mass on peak temperature of PV cell

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Fig. 11

Photovoltaic cell efficiency without PCM

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Fig. 12

Effect of PCM mass on efficiency of PV cell for the first 4 days of June



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