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Air Cooling of Photovoltaic Panels: a Numerical Approach
L. Martin-Carron, R. Becker, D. Graebling, R. Luce, D. Ugarte, A. Macq, N. Cristi
Modelling / Modeling, Cooling, Silicon Modules, Photovoltaic Panels, Heat Transfer
New Materials and Concepts for Solar Cells and Modules
Subtopic: Fundamental Studies
Event: 32nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 1BV.5.6
127 - 130
ISBN: 3-936338-41-8
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20162016-1BV.5.6
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper, poster


It is well known that high temperatures affect in a negative way the performance of PV Silicon modules. There are several ways of decreasing the modules temperature by external cooling, therefore increasing its performance: water and air cooling. Although we are interested in studying the way that the PV module transfers heat to the external cool water while it approaches its optimum working temperature, this work is a first step towards developing the digital tools to study water cooling of PV roof installations. The model, which is a fine modeling, studies the cooling of a PV panel by air in two different cases of convection: natural cooling in a cool environment and forced cooling with wind. The numerical simulations show the efficient heat transfer between the PV panel (modeled by a glass plate) and ambient air. We use the Navier-Stokes equations coupled with the heat equation, using the Boussinesq approximation to take into account the thermal variation of density. This allows us to take into account the varying parameters as temperature, wind speed and inclination of panel (gravity). The simulations show that the most efficient regime for free convection is when the module is not perpendicular to gravity direction. The efficiency increases with the wind speed. The most efficient case is obtained when the wind is parallel to the panel.