Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30758
Effective Cooling of Photovoltaic Solar Cells by Inserting Triangular Ribs: A Numerical Study

Authors: S. Poncet, S. Saadi, S. Benissaad, Y. Kabar


In photovoltaic (PV) cells, most of the absorbed solar radiation cannot be converted into electricity. A large amount of solar radiation is converted to heat, which should be dissipated by any cooling techniques. In the present study, the cooling is achieved by inserting triangular ribs in the duct. A comprehensive two-dimensional thermo-fluid model for the effective cooling of PV cells has been developed. It has been first carefully validated against experimental and numerical results available in the literature. A parametric analysis was then carried out about the influence of the number and size of the ribs, wind speed, solar irradiance and inlet fluid velocity on the average solar cell and outlet air temperatures as well as the thermal and electrical efficiencies of the module. Results indicated that the use of triangular ribbed channels is a very effective cooling technique, which significantly reduces the average temperature of the PV cell, especially when increasing the number of ribs.

Keywords: numerical modeling, photovoltaic cell, effective cooling, triangular ribs

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 534


[1] J. J. Michael and S. Iniyan, “Performance of copper oxide/water nanofluid in a flat plate solar water heater under natural and forced circulations,” Energy Conversion & Management, vol. 95, pp. 160–169, 2015.
[2] J. A. Duffie and W. A. Beckman, Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes, 4th Ed., John Wiley & Sons Inc., Hoboken, 2013.
[3] Z. Xu and C. Kleinstreuer, “Concentration photovoltaic-thermal energy co-generation system using nanofluids for cooling and heating,” Energy Conversion & Management, vol. 87, pp. 504–512, 2014.
[4] V. M. Andreev, V. A. Grilikhes, V. P. Khvostikov, O. A. Khvostikova, V. D. Rumyantsev, N. A. Sadchikov and M. Z. Shvarts, “Concentrator PV modules and solar cells for TPV systems,” Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, vol. 84, pp. 3–17, no.1-4, 2004.
[5] M. Li, X. Ji, G. Li, S. Wei, Y. Li, and F. Shi, “Performance study of solar cell arrays based on a Trough Concentrating Photovoltaic/Thermal system,” Applied Energy, vol. 88, no. 9, pp. 3218–3227, 2011.
[6] A. Royne, “Cooling devices for densely packed, high concentration PV arrays,” Master thesis, University of Sydney, 2005.
[7] Y. Gao, H. Huang, Y. Su, and S. B. Riffat, “A parametric study of characteristics of concentrating PV modules,” International Journal of Low-Carbon Technology, vol. 5, pp. 57–62, 2010.
[8] S. Agrawal and G. N. Tiwari, “Energy and exergy analysis of hybrid micro-channel photovoltaic thermal module,” Solar Energy, vol. 85, no. 2, pp. 356–370, 2011.
[9] A. Royne, C. J. Dey, and D. R. Mills, “Cooling of photovoltaic cells under concentrated illumination: A critical review,” Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, vol. 86, no.4, pp. 451–483, 2005.
[10] E. Chaniotakis, “Modelling and Analysis of Water Cooled Photovoltaics,” Master thesis, University of Strathclyde, 2001.
[11] M. Rahimi, E. Karimi, M. Asadi, and P. Valeh-e-Sheyda, “Heat transfer augmentation in a hybrid microchannel solar cell,” International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, vol. 43, pp. 131–137, 2013.
[12] S. Riera, J. Barrau, M. Omri, L. G. Fréchette, and J. I. Rosell, “Stepwise varying width microchannel cooling device for uniform wall temperature: Experimental and numerical study,” Applied Thermal Engineering, vol. 78, pp. 30–38, 2015.
[13] F. Al-Amri and T. K. Mallick, “Alleviating operating temperature of concentration solar cell by air active cooling and surface radiation,” Applied Thermal Engineering, vol. 59, no. 1–2, pp. 348–354, 2013.
[14] K. S. Reddy, S. Lokeswaran, P. Agarwal, and T. K. Mallick, “Numerical Investigation of Micro-channel based Active Module Cooling for Solar CPV System,” Energy Procedia, vol. 54, pp. 400–416, 2014.
[15] B. Ramos-Alvarado, P. Li, H. Liu, and A. Hernandez-Guerrero, “CFD study of liquid-cooled heat sinks with microchannel flow field configurations for electronics, fuel cells, and concentrated solar cells,” Applied Thermal Engineering, vol. 31, no. 14–15, pp. 2494–2507, 2011.
[16] K. Yang and C. Zuo, “A novel multi-layer manifold microchannel cooling system for concentrating photovoltaic cells,” Energy Conversion & Management, vol. 89, pp. 214–221, 2015.
[17] G. L. Jin, M. Yusof, H. Othman, H. Ruslan, and K. Sopian, “Photovoltaic Thermal (PV/T) Water Collector Experiment Study,” Proc. 7th Int. Conf. Renew. Energy Sources, Malaysia, pp. 117–124, 2013.
[18] E. Erdil, M. Ilkan, and F. Egelioglu, “An experimental study on energy generation with a photovoltaic (PV)-solar thermal hybrid system,” Energy, vol. 33, no. 8, pp. 1241–1245, 2008.
[19] M. Abdelrahman, A. Eliwa and O.E. Abdellatif, “Experimental Investigation of Different Cooling Methods for Photovoltaic Module,” 11th Int. Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, San José, July 14-17, 2013.
[20] J. Zhao, Y. Song, W.-H. Lam, W. Liu, Y. Liu, Y. Zhang, and D. Wang, “Solar radiation transfer and performance analysis of an optimum photovoltaic/thermal system,” Energy Conversion &. Management, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 1343–1353, 2011.
[21] A. Ibrahim, M.Y. Othman, M.H. Ruslan, M.A. Alghoul, M. Yahya, A. Zaharim, and K. Sopian, “Performance of photovoltaic thermal collector (PVT) with different absorbers design,” WSEAS Trans. Environ. Dev., vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 321–330, 2009.
[22] T. T. Chow, “Performance analysis of photovoltaic-thermal collector by explicit dynamic model,” Solar Energy, vol. 75, no. 2, pp. 143–152, 2003.
[23] H. G. Teo, P. S. Lee, and M. N. A. Hawlader, “An active cooling system for photovoltaic modules,” Applied Energy, vol. 90, no. 1, pp. 309–315, 2012.
[24] O. Rejeb, H. Dhaou and A. Jemni. “Parameters effect analysis of a photovoltaic thermal collector: case study for climatic conditions of Monastir, Tunisia.” Energy Conversion & Management; vol. 89, pp.409–419, 2015.
[25] A. A. B. Baloch, H. M. S. Bahaidarah, P. Gandhidasan and F. A. Al-Sulaiman, “Experimental and numerical performance analysis of a converging channel heat exchanger for PV cooling,” Energy Conversion & Management, vol. 103, pp.14-27, 2015.
[26] M. El Amine Slimani, M. Amirat, I. Kurucz, S. Bahria, A. Hamidat and W. B. Chaouch ,” A detailed thermal-electrical model of three photovoltaic/thermal (PV/T) hybrid air collectors and photovoltaic (PV) module: Comparative study under Algiers climatic conditions,” Energy Conversion & Management, vol. 133, pp.458-476, 2017.
[27] G. Notton, C. Cristofari, M. Mattei and P. Poggi, “Modelling of adouble-glass photovoltaic module using finite differences.” Applied Thermal Engineering, vol. 25, pp.2854–2877, 2005.
[28] M. U. Siddiqui, A. F. M. Arif, L. Kelley and S. Dubowsky. “Three-dimensional thermal modeling of a photovoltaic module under varying conditions,” Solar Energy, vol.86, no.9, pp.2620-2631, 2012.
[29] J. Zhou, Q. Yi, Y. Wang and Z. Ye, “Temperature distribution of photovoltaic module based on finite element simulation,” Solar Energy, vol.111, pp.97–103, 2015.
[30] A. Radwan, M. Ahmed and S. Ookawara, ”Performance of concentrated photovoltaic cells using various microchannel heat sink designs”, Proc. of the ASME 2016 10th Int. Conf. on Energy Sustainability, Charlotte (USA), Paper No. ES2016-59411, pp. V001T08A005; 10 pages, 2016.