3 years ago

An Optics-Based Approach to Thermal Management of Photovoltaics: Selective-Spectral and Radiative Cooling.

Muhammad Ashraful Alam, Mohammad Ryyan Khan, Zhiguang Zhou, Timothy J Silverman, Xingshu Sun, Peter Bermel

For commercial one-sun solar modules, up to 80% of the incoming sunlight may be dissipated as heat, potentially raising the temperature 20 C - 30 C higher than the ambient. In the long term, extreme self-heating erodes efficiency and shortens lifetime, thereby dramatically reducing the total energy output. Therefore, it is critically important to develop effective and practical (and preferably passive) cooling methods to reduce operating temperature of PV modules. In this paper, we explore two fundamental (but often overlooked) origins of PV self-heating, namely, sub-bandgap absorption and imperfect thermal radiation. The analysis suggests that we redesign the optical properties of the solar module to eliminate parasitic absorption (selective-spectral cooling) and enhance thermal emission (radiative cooling). Our Comprehensive opto-electro-thermal simulation shows that the proposed techniques would cool the one-sun and low-concentrated terrestrial solar modules up to 10 C and 20 C, respectively. This self-cooling would substantially extend the lifetime for solar modules, with The corresponding increase in energy yields and reduced LCOE.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1701.01678

DOI: arXiv:1701.01678v3

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