Design of Augmented Cooling System for Urban Solar PV System
The project strives to improve the operational efficiency of solar panels in urban regions by implemented an augmented cooling system to maintain lower temperatures of solar panel. Performance of solar panels with and without cooling system are compared to determine the degree of improvement.
Solar PV panel has been widely used for urban region because it is able to convert the renewable energy from the sun to electrical energy to power electrical loads. However the downside to the current solar PV panel is that the efficiency to covert the solar energy to electrical energy is between 15% to 22% which is consider low and has an average lifespan of 25 to 30 years which will degrade in time due to the panel overheating. The solar panel efficiency will drop when the temperature of the solar panel increases up to the ambient temperature of 40°C by 0.4% to 0.5% for each degree when it is above 25°C which is the optimum working temperature. . Reusable cold and hot gel pack were attached to the bottom of the solar PV with a container at the bottom of the panel containing water to allow the heat transfer from solar panel to the reusable cold and hot gel pack and finally to the water in the container to allow heat transfer. Both set of solar PV panel with and without the cooling system were placed at the balcony at the same time to take reading for temperature, voltage and current. The experimental value that is collected is then used to calculate the efficiency. From this research, the expected outcome is that implementing a cooling system to the solar PV will increase the efficiency of the energy conversion. Moreover, passive cooling is a better cooling method for urban region dues to space constrain and it does not require electrical energy to cool the solar PV.