A PV system equipped with an active cooling system and cleaning technology has been developed by researchers from Malaysia’s Sunway University, the University of Malaya, China’s Peking University, and India’s Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University.
The two systems were designed and attached to the solar panel separately.
The PV system consists of a 250 W 60-cell polycrystalline module and a thermal collector attached to the back side of the panel, with the collector ensuring maximum coverage of the PV module’s heated surface.
The collector was made with copper pipes placed on the back of the panel in a double-serpentine configuration, by utilizing copper retainers and thermally conductive paste.
The cleaning technology is based on a microcontroller programmable integrated circuit (IC), which controls a DC motor that rotates in a forward or reverse position.
There are two different motors – one to power a small water pump and a 24V-2A DC motor that moves a cleaner on the surface of the PV panel.
“The main part of the self-cleaning system is the sweeper that comprises a microfiber cloth and a water flow-line with a 12-V,9-mA DC water pump,” the academics explained.
The researchers compared the performance of the PV system to a standard PV installation at the University of Malaya in Malaysia. When the average ambient temperature was 31.76 C and peak solar radiation reached 981 W/sqm, the temperature of the system they created was 11.14 C lower than that of the standard system.
This strong temperature drop is due to the combined effect of the cooling technology placed on the back of the panel and that of the water spreading onto the module’s front side through the cleaning system.
Reference- ScienceDirect, PV magazine, Solar Energy website