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Energies 2019, 12(8), 1448; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12081448

An Experimental Investigation of a Novel Low-Cost Photovoltaic Panel Active Cooling System

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padova, 35100 Padova, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Solar Energy and Photovoltaic Systems)
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Abstract

Renewable energy sources are the most useful way to generate clean energy and guide the transition toward green power generation and a low-carbon economy. Among renewables, the best alternative to electricity generation from fossil fuels is solar energy because it is the most abundant and does not release pollutants during conversion processes. Despite the photovoltaic (PV) module ability to produce electricity in an eco-friendly way, PV cells are extremely sensitive to temperature increments. This can result in efficiency drop of 0.25%/ C to 0.5%/ C. To overcome this issue, manufacturers and researchers are devoted to the improvement of PV cell efficiency by decreasing operating temperature. For this purpose, the authors have developed a low-cost and high-performance PV cooling system that can drastically reduce module operating temperature. In the present work, the authors present a set of experimental measurements devoted to selecting the PV cooling arrangement that guarantees the best compromise of water-film uniformity, module temperature reduction, water-consumption minimization, and module power production maximization. Results show that a cooling system equipped with 3 nozzles characterized by a spraying angle of 90 , working with an inlet pressure of 1.5 bar, and which remains active for 30 s and is switched off for 120 s, can reduce module temperature by 28 C and improve the module efficiency by about 14%. In addition, cost per single module of the cooling system is only 15 €. View Full-Text
Keywords: photovoltaics cooling; water-film cooling; water consumption; temperature reduction; PV energy efficiency photovoltaics cooling; water-film cooling; water consumption; temperature reduction; PV energy efficiency
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Benato, A.; Stoppato, A. An Experimental Investigation of a Novel Low-Cost Photovoltaic Panel Active Cooling System. Energies 2019, 12, 1448.

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