Enhancement in thermal and electrical characteristics of solar photovoltaic module through a direct contact water jacketed cooling system
1Renewable and Sustainable Energy Lab, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat, 395 007, India
J Ther Eng 2024; 2(10): 360-374 DOI: 10.18186/thermal.1448632
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Renewable energy resources are vital for addressing the universal concerns of air quality, energy security, and sustainable development. Solar energy has several benefits over other popular renewable energy sources, such as its accessibility and increased predictability. The device used for conversion of solar energy to electrical energy is known as photovoltaic panel, which is highly sensitive to the temperature. A significant reduction in efficiency is observed with an increment in temperature hence cooling of photovoltaic panel is highly desirable. Among the different cooling techniques, water cooling is attractive and widely used due to its good thermal properties and availability. Generally, panel cooling through water circulation in tubing is explored in past, however, these tubing structures are having some limitations such as heat transfer barrier, limited surface area, leakage issues, clogging and cost of material. These issues can be partially resolved by using direct contact water jacket cooling system. Therefore, the present study focuses on in enhancing the thermal and electrical characteristics of the solar photovoltaic module through a direct contact water jacketed cooling system.
Initially, a 3D numerical model is developed and the outcome of the numerical model is compared with the experimental work. The results obtained are found in good agreement for solar cell temperature and water outlet temperature. The solar panel performance is investigated with different flow rates such as 0.01, 0.05, 0.1 and 1 cm/s. The direct contact water jacketed cooling system offers simplicity, light weight and cost effectiveness and is found promising over the indirect system. Temperature reduction up to 20 °C is observed over uncooled PV panel whereas enhancement in electrical efficiency up to 9.6 % is observed. The cooled PV solar cell maintain 40.2% low temperature compare to uncooled solar cell temperature.