Abstract

This paper presents an experimental investigation on a hybrid solar system, including a water-based photovoltaic (PV) solar module and a phase change material (PCM)-based cooling tower, for cooling of the module. Elimination of heat from the PV module was performed by the use of water in the back of the panel. The PCM-based cooling tower was used as a postcooling system. A composite oil consisting of 82 wt% coconut oil and 18 wt% sunflower oil has been used as a novel phase change material in the cooling tower. The helical tubes of the cooling tower were fabricated in two different curvature ratios of 0.054 and 0.032. The experiments were performed at three different water flow rates of 11.71, 16.13, and 19.23 mL/s. The cooling performance evaluation was carried out using the average surface temperature and output power of the photovoltaic panel. The results indicated that diminution of the average PV surface temperature relative to the reference temperature was 34.01 and 32.36 °C at a water flow rate of 19.23 mL/s for the cooling systems with helical tube curvature ratios 0.054 and 0.032, respectively. Furthermore, the highest electric output power was achieved for the cooling system with a helical tube curvature ratio of 0.054 at a water flow rate of 19.23 mL/s.

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