Operation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems under high temperatures and high humidity represents one of the major challenges to guarantee higher system’s performance and reliability. The PV conversion efficiency degrades considerably at higher temperatures, while dust accumulation on PV module together with atmospheric water vapor condensation may cause a thick layer of mud that is difficult to be removed. Therefore, thermal management in hot climates is crucial for reliable application of PV systems to prevent the efficiency to drop due to temperature rise. This research focuses on the utilization of phase-change materials (PCM) for passive thermal management of solar systems. The main focus is to explore the effect of utilization of PCM-based cooling elements on the thermal behavior of solar PV modules. This paper presents the mathematical modeling and validation of PV modules. Both simulation and experimental data showed that the significant increase in PV peak temperature in summer affects the module’s efficiency, and consequently produced power, by 3% compared to standard testing condition (STC) as an average over the entire day, while it goes up to 8% and 10% during peak noon hours in winter and summer, respectively.

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