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Pathways toward high-efficiency solar photovoltaic thermal management for electrical, thermal and combined generation applications: A critical review

Madurai Elavarasan, R., Mudgal, V., Selvamanohar, L., Wang, K., Huang, G., Shafiullah, GM.ORCID: 0000-0002-2211-184X, Markides, C.N., Reddy, K.S. and Nadarajah, M. (2022) Pathways toward high-efficiency solar photovoltaic thermal management for electrical, thermal and combined generation applications: A critical review. Energy Conversion and Management, 255 . Art. 115278.

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Photovoltaic (PV) panels convert a portion of the incident solar radiation into electrical energy and the remaining energy (>70 %) is mostly converted into thermal energy. This thermal energy is trapped within the panel which, in turn, increases the panel temperature and deteriorates the power output as well as electrical efficiency. To obtain high-efficiency solar photovoltaics, effective thermal management systems is of utmost. This article presents a comprehensive review that explores recent research related to thermal management solutions as applied to photovoltaic technology. The study aims at presenting a wide range of proposed solutions and alternatives in terms of design approaches and concepts, operational methods and other techniques for performance enhancement, with commentary on their associated challenges and opportunities. Both active and passive thermal management solutions are presented, which are classified and discussed in detail, along with results from a breadth of experimental efforts into photovoltaic panel performance improvements. Approaches relying on radiative, as well as convective heat transfer principles using air, water, heat pipes, phase change materials and/or nanoparticle suspensions (nanofluids) as heat-exchange media, are discussed while including summaries of their unique features, advantages, disadvantages and possible applications. In particular, hybrid photovoltaic-thermal (PV-T) collectors that use a coolant to capture waste heat from the photovoltaic panels in order to deliver an additional useful thermal output are also reviewed, and it is noted that this technology has a promising potential in terms of delivering high-efficiency solar energy conversion. The article can act as a guide to the research community, developers, manufacturers, industrialists and policymakers in the design, manufacture, application and possible promotion of high-performance photovoltaic-based technologies and systems.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Engineering and Energy
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2022 Elsevier Ltd.
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