The peak power output of Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels is typically rated at 25°C, but in hot weather, their operating temperature rises significantly, reducing energy efficiency and power output. This study investigates a passive air convection cooling method to enhance PV panel performance. It examines the impact of adding fins for improved convective heat transfer on the efficiency and power production of PV polycrystalline solar panels in high-temperature environments. Numerical evaluations using one- dimensional thermal models were conducted to predict the panel's hourly average temperature, efficiency, and power output with and without fins. Without fins, the panel had a yearly average temperature of 35°C, efficiency of 15.0%, and total annual power output of 340 kWh/m². Simulations with rectangular pin fins resulted in a yearly average panel temperature of 28°C, efficiency of 16.1%, and total annual power output of 365 kWh/m², a 7.3% increase with an additional weight of 5.3 kg/m². Triangular pin fins yielded a yearly average panel temperature of 30°C, efficiency of 15.8%, and total annual power output of 358 kWh/m², a 5.2% increase with an additional weight of 1.8 kg/m². In conclusion, passive air cooling improves PV panel power output by 5 to 7% in extremely hot and dry climates, with additional fin material weighing 1.8 to 5.3 kg/m². One-dimensional heat transfer models effectively provide hourly simulation results for a full year.
Photovoltaic Solar Panels, Passive Cooling, Fins, Thermal Analysis.Volume 12 View PDF Download PDF