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Article

Mathematical Modelling of a System for Solar PV Efficiency Improvement Using Compressed Air for Panel Cleaning and Cooling

1
School of Engineering, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
2
Advanced Technology Development Centre, IIT Kharagpur, West Bengal 721302, India
3
Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur, West Bengal 721302, India
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alon Kuperman
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4072; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144072
Received: 31 May 2021 / Revised: 29 June 2021 / Accepted: 1 July 2021 / Published: 6 July 2021
The efficiency of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is greatly reduced by panel soiling and high temperatures. A mechanism for eliminating both of these sources of inefficiencies is presented by integrating solar PV generation with a compressed air system. High-pressure air can be stored and used to blow over the surface of PV panels, removing present dust and cooling the panels, increasing output power. A full-system mathematical model of the proposed system is presented, comprised of compressed air generation and storage, panel temperature, panel cleaning, and PV power generation. Simulation results indicate the benefit of employing compressed air for cleaning and cooling solar PV panels. For a fixed volume of compressed air, it is advantageous to blow air over the panels early in the day if the panel is soiled or when solar radiation is most abundant with the highest achievable flow rate if the panel is clean. These strategies have been shown to achieve the greatest energy captures for a single PV panel. When comparing the energy for air compression to the energy gain from cleaning a single PV over a two-week period, an energy ROI of 23.8 is determined. The system has the potential to eliminate the requirement for additional manual cleaning of solar PV panels. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar photovoltaics; compressed air; renewable energy; mathematical modelling solar photovoltaics; compressed air; renewable energy; mathematical modelling
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MDPI and ACS Style

King, M.; Li, D.; Dooner, M.; Ghosh, S.; Roy, J.N.; Chakraborty, C.; Wang, J. Mathematical Modelling of a System for Solar PV Efficiency Improvement Using Compressed Air for Panel Cleaning and Cooling. Energies 2021, 14, 4072. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144072

AMA Style

King M, Li D, Dooner M, Ghosh S, Roy JN, Chakraborty C, Wang J. Mathematical Modelling of a System for Solar PV Efficiency Improvement Using Compressed Air for Panel Cleaning and Cooling. Energies. 2021; 14(14):4072. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144072

Chicago/Turabian Style

King, Marcus, Dacheng Li, Mark Dooner, Saikat Ghosh, Jatindra N. Roy, Chandan Chakraborty, and Jihong Wang. 2021. "Mathematical Modelling of a System for Solar PV Efficiency Improvement Using Compressed Air for Panel Cleaning and Cooling" Energies 14, no. 14: 4072. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144072

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