The need for simple and effective solar Photovoltaics (PV) cooling techniques to enhance power generation and elongate the cell lifespan has become of greater interest in recent years. This research designs and optimizes a novel arrangement for solar photovoltaics, allowing for natural convection channel cooling and harvesting of radiation on both sides of the system. A numerical model was developed and validated to solve the conjugate radiation-convection and conduction utilizing the Monte Carlo, the 𝑘−𝜖 turbulence model and the Boussinesq approximation to solve the heat transfer in the system. The optimization was carried out for a 24% efficiency solar PV system under a standardized solar flux of 1000 W/m2. The solar radiation analysis showed a significant drop in visible radiation incident on the back-facing panel, characterized by the decrease in Radiation Quality (RQ) from 43% to 0.29%. The convection analysis was carried out for varying tilt angles of 20, 40, 60 and 80° from the vertical, channel spacings of 1 to 6 cm, and ambient temperatures of 15 to 45 degrees Celsius. The results showed a decrease in the temperatures of the panels with increased channel spacing up to 4cm spacing, after which the temperatures become steady. An inverse relationship was observed between the system tilt angle and the temperature due to the increase in flowrate and velocity. Furthermore, the results showed a strong correlation between 𝑁𝑢𝑠 and 𝑅𝑎(𝑠/𝐻)𝑐𝑜𝑠(𝜃), with the power curve fit having 𝑅2 of 0.98. The performance of the top-facing panel in the system was compared to that of a single panel under similar conditions and showed 1.35% increase in power output in the best recorded case of 6cm spacing, 80° tilt and 15°C ambient temperature, which corresponded to a 6.7% drop in the panel temperature.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Solar panels--Cooling; Solar air conditioning--Passive systems
Mechanical Engineering (MS)
Mohamed A. Samaha
Abou Assali, Mohamad, "The Analysis of a Passive Cooling Arrangement for Solar PV Panels" (2023). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from