Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Performance enhancement of PV cells through micro-channel cooling

Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Engineering and Technology Taxila, Pakistan

Special Issues: Advances in Energy and Sustainable Development

Efficiency of a PV cell is strongly dependent on its surface temperature. The current study is focused to achieve maximum efficiency of PV cells even in scorching temperatures in hot climates like Pakistan where the cell surface temperatures can even rise up to around 80 ℃. The study includes both the CFD and real time experimental investigations of a solar panel using micro channel cooling. Initially, CFD analysis is performed by developing a 3D model of a Mono-Crystalline cell with micro-channels to analyze cell surface temperature distribution at different irradiance and water flow rates. Afterwards, an experimental setup is developed for performance investigations under the real conditions of an open climate of a Pakistan's city, Taxila. Two 35W panels are manufactured for the experiments; one is based on the standard manufacturing procedure while other cell is developed with 4mm thick aluminum sheet having micro-channels of cross-section of 1mm by 1mm. The whole setup also includes different sensors for the measurement of solar irradiance, cell power, surface temperature and water flow rates. The experimental results show that PV cell surface temperature drop of around 15 ℃ is achieved with power increment of around 14% at maximum applied water flow rate of 3 LPM. Additionally, a good agreement is also found between CFD and experimental results. Therefore, that study clearly shows that a significant performance improvement of PV cells can be achieved through the proposed cell cooling technique.
  Article Metrics

Keywords micro-channel cooling; heat transfer; performance enhancement; PV cells; renewable energy; live testing

Citation: Muzaffar Ali, Hafiz.M. Ali, Waqar Moazzam, M. Babar Saeed. Performance enhancement of PV cells through micro-channel cooling. AIMS Energy, 2015, 3(4): 699-710. doi: 10.3934/energy.2015.4.699


  • 1. IEA International Energy Agency (2013) Trends in Photovoltaic Applications.
  • 2. Sun S-S, Sariciftci NS (2005) Organic photovoltaics: Mechanisms materials and devices. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
  • 3. Bube RH (1998) Photovoltaic materials. Imperial College Press, London.
  • 4. Kaplar RJ (2001) Deep levels in p- and n-type In Ga As N for high-efficiency multi-junction III-V solar cells. Sol Energy Mater Sol Cells 69: 85-91.    
  • 5. Trupke T, Green MA, Würfel P (2002) Improving solar cell efficiencies by down-conversion of high energy photons. J Appl Phys 92: 1668-1674.    
  • 6. Schaller RD, Klimov VI (2004) High efficiency carrier multiplication in PbSe nanocrystals. Implications for solar energy conversion. Phys Rev Lett 92: 186601-1-186601-4.
  • 7. Ross RT, Nozik AJ (1982) Efficiency of hot-carrier solar-energy converters. J Appl Phys 53: 3813-3818.    
  • 8. Vincenzi D, Busato A, Stefancich M, et al. (2009) Concentrating PV system based on spectral separation of solar radiation. Phys Status Solidi (a) Appl Mater Sci 206: 375-378.    
  • 9. Levy R (2007) Solar energy conversion can be small-scale and low-tech. Phys Today 60: 2-14.
  • 10. Shockley W, Queisser HJ (1961) Detailed balance limit of efficiency of P-N junction solar cells. J Appl Phys 32: 510-519.    
  • 11. van Helden WGJ, van Zolingen RJC, Zondag HA (2004) PV Panels Supplying Renewable Electricity and Heat. Prog Photovolt Res Appl 12: 415-426 (DOI: 10.1002/pip.559).    
  • 12. Martineac C, Hopîrtean M, De Mey G, et al. (2010) Temperature Influence on Conversion Efficiency in the Case of Photovoltaic Cells. 10th International Conference on Development And Application Systems, Suceava, Romania.
  • 13. Lee B, Liu JZ, Sun B, et al. (2008) Thermally conductive and electrically insulating EVA composite encapsulants for solar photovoltaic (PV) cell. Express Polym Lett 2: 357-363.    
  • 14. Gonzalo G (2009) Heat Transfer in a Photo Voltaic Panel. MVK 160 Heat and Mass Transport.
  • 15. Wang Y, Ding G-F (2008) Experimental investigation of heat transfer performance for a novel microchannel heat sink. J Micromech Microeng 18: 035021.    
  • 16. Wang Y, Ding G-F, Fu S (2007) Highly efficient manifold microchannel heat sink. Electron Lett 43: 978-980.    
  • 17. Meneses-Rodriguez D, Horley PP, Gonzalez-Hernandez J, et al. (2005) Photovoltaic solar cells performance at elevated temperatures. J Solar Energy 78: 243-25.    
  • 18. Green MA (1977) General solar cell curve factors including the effects of ideality factor, temperature and series resistance. Solid State Electron 20: 265-266.
  • 19. Chen CJ (2011) Physics of Solar Energy, United States of America: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.
  • 20. Jajja SA, Ali W, Ali HM, et al. (2014) Water cooled minichannel heat sinks for microprocessor cooling: Effect of fin spacing. Appl Thermal Eng 64(1359-4311): 76-82.


This article has been cited by

  • 1. Morshed Hadwan, Abdulsalam Alkholidi, Assessment of factors influencing the sustainable performance of photovoltaic water pumping systems, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2018, 92, 307, 10.1016/j.rser.2018.04.092
  • 2. Hafiz Muhammad Ali, Tayyab Raza Shah, Hamza Babar, Zargham Ahmad Khan, , Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, 2018, Chapter 2, 10.5772/intechopen.74967
  • 3. Pushpendu Dwivedi, K. Sudhakar, Archana Soni, Evgeny Solomin, Kirpichnikova I, Advanced cooling techniques of P.V. modules: A state of art, Case Studies in Thermal Engineering, 2020, 100674, 10.1016/j.csite.2020.100674
  • 4. Shrey Verma, Subhashree Mohapatra, Subhankar Chowdhury, Gaurav Dwivedi, Cooling techniques of the PV module: A review, Materials Today: Proceedings, 2020, 10.1016/j.matpr.2020.07.130
  • 5. Mostafa Gharzi, Akbar Arabhosseini, Zakieh Gholami, Mohammad Hashem Rahmati, Progressive cooling technologies of photovoltaic and concentrated photovoltaic modules: A review of fundamentals, thermal aspects, nanotechnology utilization and enhancing performance, Solar Energy, 2020, 211, 117, 10.1016/j.solener.2020.09.048

Reader Comments

your name: *   your email: *  

Copyright Info: 2015, Muzaffar Ali, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved