Performance Optimization of Concentrated Photovoltaic-Thermal (CPV-T) System Employing Phase Change Material (PCM) in Hot Climate

  • Shaimaa Abdel BaqiEmail author
  • Ahmed Hassan
  • Ali Hassan Shah
Part of the Innovative Renewable Energy book series (INREE)


Concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) system is cooled through a phase change material (PCM) and associated improvement in energy performance is presented in this article. The CPV-PCM system is tested experimentally in extremely hot weather of Al Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE), where the outside ambient temperature reached up to 55 °C under direct sun for three consecutive days. A commercial grade paraffin-based PCM with melting point in the range of (58–60) °C is integrated in the container attached to the back of the CPV panel to absorb the heat and cools the CPV while melting. The energy performance of the cooled CPV-PCM system is compared to that of non-cooled CPV to determine the increased energy outputs due to cooling produced by PCM. CPV and CPV-PCM yielded total energy efficiency of 30% and 60%, respectively, indicating the advantage of including PCM into CPV design. A 2-D conjugate heat transfer model employing enthalpy-based formulation is developed and validated with the experimental data. The validated numerical model is employed to identify optimum PCM types (paraffin, salt hydrate, and fatty acids), and optimize PCM container configurations for different heat intensities. The optimum PCM thickness of different tested PCMs: paraffin, fatty acid, and salt hydrate (SP) required for complete melting and solidification in the range of 55–60 °C was found to be 6, 9, 20 cm, respectively. The SP was found to be the optimum type of PCM employing less amount of material to achieve the same cooling performance, however, disadvantages of SP need to be considered.


Concentrated photovoltaic Phase change material (PCM) CPV-PCM system and energy performance 



Area (m2)


Asymmetric compound parabolic photovoltaic concentrators


Building integrated photovoltaics


Heat capacity


Solar concentrator photovoltaics


Solar concentrator photovoltaics integrated with phase chance material


Fill factor


Solar radiation intensity (W/m2)


Short circuit current


Thermal conductivity (W/mK)


Phase change material




Photovoltaic integrated with phase change material system


Ambient temperature (°C)


Temperature history method


Liquids temperature (°C)


PCM temperature (°C)


Solids temperature (°C)


Open circuit voltage (V)


Energy efficiency


Density (kg/m3)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shaimaa Abdel Baqi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ahmed Hassan
    • 1
  • Ali Hassan Shah
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Architectural Engineering, College of EngineeringUnited Arab Emirates UniversityAl AinUnited Arab Emirates

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