Thermoelectric Cooling of a Photovoltaic Panel
The performance of photovoltaic (PV) systems depends on many factors such as PV module temperature, solar radiation availability and the accumulation of dirt on solar panels. The temperature increment is one of the most challenging factors that affects the performance of photovoltaic systems which causes significant degradation in the cell efficiency and the amount of generated power specially in the high concentrator photovoltaics (HCPV); to overcome this issue, a cooling method by using thermoelectric cooling module is proposed and investigated. In this work, a thermoelectric module with a heat sink at the back is considered to be attached to the back side of photovoltaic panel. It is assumed that the required power to run the thermoelectric cooling module is provided by the photovoltaic panel itself. Solar irradiance, ambient temperature, wind velocity and the fin area of the heat sink are the most important parameters that affect the cell temperature and, consequently, the amount of generated power. An analytical model is developed and simulated by MATLAB to determine the cell temperature and calculates the optimized extra power generated by the photovoltaic cells due to cooling effect by the variation of the mentioned parameters. The results demonstrate a potential for improvement; however, the amount of extra generated power relates to the environmental circumstances and concentration ratio.
KeywordsSolar energy Photovoltaic cells Thermoelectric cooling Peltier effect Optimization