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Economic cooling of solar PV modules

Author(s):

S. Karthik , University of Petroleum and Energy Studies; Abhilash K Prabhu, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies; Viralkumar J. Patel, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies

Keywords:

Economic Cooling, Solar PV Modules

Abstract

The vortex tube is a refrigerating equipment that produces both cold as well as hot air at both opposite ends. The vortex tube's construction is such that it is made up of a hollow tube of either metallic or fibre components having a nozzle for letting in of compressed air and a diaphragm or an orifice for controlling the flow rate of air. When compressed air passes through a nozzle into the diaphragm of the vortex tube, the air forms a spiral shaped vortex, that causes the heating up of air, and when this air returns back, it cools down rapidly, producing a cooling effect. The main study in the Vortex tube is the study of the temperature distribution of the rotating air. This effect was first discovered by Ranque and later by Hilsch and hence this effect is called Ranque-Hilsch effect. The second law of thermodynamics forbids a 100%-efficient solar cell. More specifically, Carnot’s applies to photovoltaics and any other solar energy system, where the hot side of the “heat engine” is the temperature of the sun and the cold side is the ambient temperature on earth. The result is, for a system with sunlight concentration, the maximum efficiency is ~85%, and for a system that does not track the sun, the maximum efficiency is ~55%. Increases in temperature reduce the band gap of a semiconductor, thereby effecting most of the semiconductor material parameters. Hence, the cooling of the module is very important. For a solar module, the open circuit voltage decreases with increase in voltage. The open-circuit voltage decreases with temperature because of the temperature dependence of Io. With the help of the vortex tube cooling technology, we can reduce solar module heating economically and thereby reducing the heating effect on the Voltage difference, which will effectively increase the output from solar panels. The heating and after effects of cooling will be modelled through CFD for better understanding of the heat flow pattern over the panel.

Other Details

Paper ID: IJSRDV3I80070
Published in: Volume : 3, Issue : 8
Publication Date: 01/11/2015
Page(s): 108-110

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