Photovoltaic (PV) panel overheating drastically reduces their efficiency and lifespan. Overheating also has the potential to form electric arcs which can melt metal fixtures and burn away the module’s insulating materials. Due to these phenomena, the introduction of water-cooling or, more generally, liquid-cooling systems inside the PV panel appears reasonable. Hollow fibre cooling system consisting of plastic tubes of a small diameter (less than 1 mm) was tested as a simple solution. Fibres can be placed in contact with the back surface of a PV panel and coolant flowing through provides efficient and uniform cooling. Heat removed from the panel may be used for domestic or industrial needs or released to the surroundings. Hollow fibres have very thin walls (about 0.1 mm) to transfer heat easily, and the system is light, compact and resistant to corrosion. Experiments confirmed that such system can cool the PV panel, removing up to 1 kW of heat and lowering the module temperature from 90°C to about 50°C. It was observed that cooling improves the electric efficiency of PV cells by about 50%.
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Schmidt, M., Astrouski, I., Reppich, M. et al. Solar panel cooling system with hollow fibres. Appl. Sol. Energy 52, 86–92 (2016). https://doi.org/10.3103/S0003701X16020213