No 3 (2020)

DOI https://doi.org/10.18799/24056537/2020/3/276

THERMAL MANAGEMENT OF SILICON PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS: A REVIEW (In the press)

Photovoltaic (PV) technologies represent a key role in the ongoing energy transition towards the decarbonisation of convectional power systems and to reduce the harmful population impact to environment.  Nowadays, the majority of market available photovoltaic PV technologies are silicon based with a usual energy conversion efficiency of less than 20%. The major drawbacks of the widely used silicon PV technologies are related to performance degradation due to aging as well as performance drops that occur during periods of elevated operating temperatures. In order to improve performance, as well as the lifetime of the PV systems, various cooling techniques have been investigated in the last two decades. The main goal of the specific cooling approaches for PV panels is to ensure efficient thermal management, as well as economic suitability. In this review paper, different cooling strategies are categorized, discussed and thoroughly elaborated in order to provide deep insight related to an expected performance improvement and economic viability. The main results of this review indicate that the cooling approaches for PVs can ensure a performance improvement ranging from about 3% up to 30%, depending if passive or active cooling approaches are applied. The main results also indicate that the economic viability as well as environmental suitability of the specific cooling approaches is not sufficiently discussed in the existing research literature.

Keywords:

Photovoltaics, cooling techniques, performance, solar energy, renewable energy

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Authors:

S. Nižetić