Inaugural US-EU-China Thermophysics Conference-Renewable Energy 2009 (UECTC 2009 Proceedings)
10 Study on Liquid Metal Cooling of Photovoltaic Cell
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Traditional photovoltaic cells based electricity generation is still low in energy conversion efficiency and high in cost. To overcome the big barrier standing between solar energy's potential capability and its practical application, optical concentration technology was identified as an effective way for improving cell electricity generation due to its ability to dramatically raise power density per unit cost. But the extremely high heat flux under concentration would easily cause fatal damage to photovoltaic cells. Therefore, the heat dissipation is of critical importance for solar concentrating photovoltaic cells which however reserves to be a challenging issue. In this paper, we evaluated a newly emerging method to significantly cool the photovoltaic cells, through implementing liquid metal with low melting point as the powerful coolant. Conceptual experiments with different thermal conditions were performed. In order to better understand the cooling capability of liquid metal cooling system, a thermal resistance model was established and discussed. The results indicate that liquid metal cooling is a highly efficient way for heat dissipation of optical-concentrating photovoltaic cells with low power consumption. This thermal management approach is of significant value for developing future solar electricity generation system, which may promote the large-scale utilization of concentrating photovoltaic cells.