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Photovoltaic Panel Efficiency Optimization Using Forced Convection Cooling In Porous Media Enclosure. Master’s Degree Project Bradley Fontenault. Problem Definition . Photovoltaic cells lose efficiency as operating temperature increases (~-0.54%/deg. C for single crystalline Si cell)

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Photovoltaic Panel Efficiency Optimization Using Forced Convection Cooling In Porous Media Enclosure

Master’s Degree Project

Bradley Fontenault

problem definition
Problem Definition
  • Photovoltaic cells lose efficiency as operating temperature increases (~-0.54%/deg. C for single crystalline Si cell)
  • The objective of this study is to investigate a method of cooling PV panels as to increase their electrical output efficiencies
various methods have been explored to cool pv cells to improve efficiency
Various Methods Have Been Explored to Cool PV Cells to Improve Efficiency
  • Various methods have been developed to cool PV Cells
  • Heat extracted from cells is typically used for other purposes (heat potable water, radiant floor heating, heat swimming pool water, operate a heat pump, etc.) while increasing electrical efficiency of cells
  • Bakker – geothermally cooled cells, coolant water used for potable water
  • Chen – used refrigerant R134a to cool cells, heat energy used in heat pump
project objective
Project Objective
  • Pump water through porous media in enclosure on back of PV panel to cool panel
    • Will analyze various water flow rates
    • Will analyze various porous materials
    • Will analyze various porosity and permeability parameters
  • Calculate thermal energy extracted and temperature decrease of solar cell exposed to constant sun irradiance
  • Can determine increase is solar panel efficiency using public solar panel efficiency data
  • Yang et. al.