Numerical investigation on heat pipe spanwise spacing to determine optimum configuration for passive cooling of photovoltaic panels

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Abstract

The uncertainty regarding the capacity of photovoltaics to generate adequate renewable power remains problematic due to very high temperatures in countries experiencing extreme climates. This study analyses the potential of heat pipes as a passive cooling mechanism for solar photovoltaic panels in the Ecohouse of the Higher Colleges of Technology, Oman, using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). A baseline model has been set-up comprised of 20 units, 20 mm diameter water-filled heat pipes, with a length of 992 mm attached to a photovoltaic panel measuring 1956 mm × 992 mm. Using the source temperature of 64.5 C (337.65 K), the findings of this work have established that a temperature reduction in the range of up to 9 C is achievable when integrating heat pipes into photovoltaic panels. An optimum spacing of 50 mm (2.5 times the diameter of the heat pipe) was determined through this work, which is also a proof-of-concept towards the use of heat pipe technology for passive cooling of photovoltaic panels in hot climates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4635
JournalEnergies
Volume12
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • CFD
  • Heat pipe
  • Photovoltaic
  • Spanwise
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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