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Computational Study of Improving the Efficiency of Photovoltaic Panels in the UAE

Authors: Ben Richard Hughes, Ng Ping Sze Cherisa, Osman Beg


Various solar energy technologies exist and they have different application techniques in the generation of electrical power. The widespread use of photovoltaic (PV) modules in such technologies has been limited by relatively high costs and low efficiencies. The efficiency of PV panels decreases as the operating temperatures increase. This is due to the affect of solar intensity and ambient temperature. In this work, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) was used to model the heat transfer from a standard PV panel and thus determine the rate of dissipation of heat. To accurately model the specific climatic conditions of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a case study of a new build green building in Dubai was used. A finned heat pipe arrangement is proposed and analyzed to determine the improved heat dissipation and thus improved performance efficiency of the PV panel. A prototype of the arrangement is built for experimental testing to validate the CFD modeling and proof of concept.

Keywords: Computational Fluid Dynamics, Improving Efficiency, Photovoltaic (PV) Panels, Heat-pipe

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