Active cooling for PV modules in floating arrays

Sep 15, 2020 01:49 PM ET
  • Saudi Arabian scientists have actually produced a serpentine cooling block framework to improve the efficiency of PV panels in floating solar projects by around 1.5%. The cooling block can be loaded through a low-cost, 15.6 W commercial 12 V DC water pump with cool water.
Active cooling for PV modules in floating arrays
Image: VIUDeepBay, flickr

Scientists from Saudi Arabia's Majmaah University and also Italy's Polytechnic University of Milan have actually designed an active cooling system for photovoltaic panels in floating PV applications.

The system includes a serpentine cooling block structure, which the researchers describe as light-weight as well as minimally intrusive. It functions by pressing fresh water with a meander-line path in contact with the module backsheet, which has a lower density contrasted to conventional backsheets. This displaces the warm from the solar cells to the surface area of the backsheet itself.

" Lateral warm transfer within the backsheet material is very restricted," the academics discussed. "Nonetheless, the enhanced backsheet-coolant contact is expected to conquer this restriction."

Water pump

The serpentine cooling block framework features a 3 mm casing layer made of an affordable, light-weight plastic material known as polypropene. It evaluates around 3.75 kg without water and 10.7 kg with water, in addition to the 28.2 kg weight of the PV module itself. The system was evaluated on a PERC Cheetah JKM395M-72-DV PV module from Chinese supplier JinkoSolar. The simulations were carried out for a theoretical floating PV plant set up on Mangla Dam Lake in Pakistan.

The cooling block-- which can be loaded with a low-cost, 15.6 W business 12 V DC water pump with fresh as well as reasonably cool water from the water surface area-- is in contact with 1.03 m2 of the backsheet, which corresponds to 51.5% of its complete location.

" Here, increased coverage will substantially increase the weight of the cooling system, while decreased coverage could not have the ability to dramatically cool down the solar cells as the backsheet is thermally shielding," the academics said.

Solar simulation

The system was tested on a PERC Cheetah JKM395M-72-DV PV module from Chinese maker JinkoSolar. The simulations were carried out for a theoretical FPV plant mounted on Mangla Dam Lake in Pakistan.

The efficiency of the panel with the cooling technique was checked in a floating selection and compared to that of a panel without the serpentine cooling system. The average cell temperature level of the panel dropped from of 44 C to 21.7 C as well as, subsequently, the panel performance climbed by 1.5%. Throughout the month of May, it also assisted to preserve a panel effectiveness of 19.70% throughout the day, which is even more that the 19.69% performance priced quote by the producer.

" Here, 95.98 kWh is anticipated to be created by a single (floating PV plant) during 31 days of May in the lack of the cooling system," the researchers said. "This number can be raised to the upper academic restriction of 107.02 kWh once the cooling system is used."

However, the return evaluation does not consider the energy that is required to operate the water pump. Taking this right into account would certainly suggest the increase in power generation would certainly be 8.10 kWh, as well as not 11.04 kWh, the scientists stated. However, despite this traditional quote, however, the annual return of floating PV ranges making use of the proposed system was found to be around 6.25%.

The scientists described their active cooling method in "An enhanced cooling system design to improve power performance of floating photovoltaic systems," which was just recently released in the Journal of Renewable as well as Sustainable Energy.

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