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Thermal management of low concentrated photovoltaic module with phase change material

Manikandan, S., Selvam, C., Poddar, Nikunj, Pranjyal, Kishlay, Lamba, Ravita, Kaushik, S.C.
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.219 pp. 359-367
computer software, finite element analysis, heat, longevity, melting, solar collectors, temperature
The operating temperature of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) system has a significant impact on the transient response of the CPV system. The heat generated inside the CPV module degrades the performance, reliability and life span of the system. Therefore, in order to regulate the temperature of CPV system, phase change materials (PCM) are used as an effective passive thermal management method. A CPV integrated with heat sink and PCM has been developed in finite element software COMSOL Multiphysics. The PCM was integrated at the back side of CPV module to maintain constant and low temperature in the CPV module. The performance of low CPV was carried out by varying the fill volume of PCM and solar concentration ratio (CR). The results showed a significant reduction in the temperature of the CPV module with the addition of PCM compared to the CPV without PCM. The CPV temperature observed was 55 °C with PCM height of 0.75 mm with a reduction to 32 °C with the PCM height of 3 mm in the heat sink. The CPV temperature was maintained constant during the melting period of the PCM from 25s to 120s with PCM height of 3 mm and CR of 3. The results showed an increase in the power output and efficiency of the CPV module with increase in the fill volume of PCM in the heat sink. For a typical operating condition with CR of 3 and PCM height of 3 mm, the power output and efficiency of CPV with PCM was found to be 27% and 22% higher than the case without PCM respectively.