Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Materials Science
Kyle D. Rose Sr. - Alabama A&M University
Co-Author(s): K. J. Arun, Sree Kerala Varma College University of Calicut Kerala, India, Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL
Research has shown that heat is the number one deterrent to power production and efficiency of solar panels. To remedy this problem we used special techniques to apply a phase change material (PCM), non-intrusively to the back of our test panels. This process provided the ability to extract heat utilizing conduction mechanism with a diathermic material. The method used for this research was quantitative data collection. This methodology involves use of existing historical documents such as climate, temperature, and insolation data along with currently measured data for analysis.
The results showed with the PCM applied to our test panels remained cooler than the controlled panels until the PCM absorbed its capacity of heat energy. The test panel’s temperature was cooler than the control panel. Power production, and efficiency showed a noticeable increase. Future research will utilize passive thermoelectric devices to convert the waste heat to useful energy. Furthermore working fluids such as glycol, and antifreeze of various concentrations to remove heat energy from the saturated PCM once the heat capacity has been reached. The application of PCM applied to the backside of a standard solar panel lowers the temperature and improves the panel’s energy conversion and efficiency.
References: Journal of Scientific Research & Reports 3(21): 2801-2816; Article no. JSRR.2014.21.008, (2014) Teo HG, Lee PS, Hawlader MNA. An active cooling system for PV modules. Applied Energy. (2012)
PLEA 2008 – 25th Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture, A Photovoltaic panel coupled with a phase changing material heat storage system in hot climates Dublin, 22nd to 24th October (2008).
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF APEX project DUE 1238192
Faculty Advisor: Mohan Aggarwal, email@example.com