Heat transfer enhancement in a hybrid PV cell-cooling tower
This research has been conducted with the purpose of finding an innovative and environmentally friendly means of cooling for a photovoltaic (PV) solar cell to overcome the common obstacle that hinders PVs to be widely used. A small scale cooling tower was devised and fabricated that works based on evaporation cooling. To optimize the cooling performance, the effect of water flow rate and wind speed were investigated. The experiments were conducted at three different water flow rates with and without considering wind. The average PV cell temperature and the percentage increase in electrical output regarding the reference state of without cooling at each wind speed were measured. After introducing water to the back of the PV cell, the measured value of surface temperature followed a downward trend with a steep slope at lower flow rates. The results showed a significant rise of 44.83% in PV electrical efficiency at the highest flow rate when there is no wind. However, this enhancement reduced to 21.49% and 19.49% for wind speed of 2 m/s and 3.5 m/s, respectively. The net evaporation rate was also calculated for each case to explain the reasons for the observed trends. Finally the feasibility study of the cooling system was conducted and it was found that the proposed cooling system was efficient and practical.
KeywordsCooling tower Photovoltaic cell Electrical power Heat transfer enhancement Wind speed
volumetric flow rate (mL/s)
reference Power (w)
pump consumption power(pa.m3/s)
maximum power of photovoltaic (W)
specific heat at constant pressure (J/kg.0C)
Coefficient of energy
latent heat of evaporation (J/Kg)
specific weight (N/m3)
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.