Heverlee, Belgium
Heverlee, Belgium

Time filter

Source Type

Goverde H.,ESAT ELECTA KU Leuven | Goverde H.,IMEC | Goossens D.,ESAT ELECTA KU Leuven | Goossens D.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 7 more authors.
Solar Energy | Year: 2017

Currently, most of the state-of-the-art energy yield prediction and evaluation models reported in the literature assume a uniform photovoltaic (PV) module temperature and air flow. However, during realistic wind flow conditions, local temperature variations occur over PV modules due to forced convection. This study aims to investigate how spatial temperature differences over the surface of a PV module that are caused by wind affect the convection of heat over the module, and how this influences the energy production by the module. A PV module composed of 2 rows of 9 solar cells each was placed horizontally in a wind tunnel. It has then been tested at free-stream wind velocities of 1, 2, 3 and 5 m/s. Surface temperatures and ambient air temperatures have been measured along the module and vertical temperature gradients have been determined. The electrical characteristics of each individual cell in the PV module have also been measured. Substantial differences in performance between the solar cells caused by local variations in module temperature have been observed. These data have been used to calculate the heat transfer coefficient along the module. To illustrate the importance of including, in energy yield evaluation models, the temperature variations that occur between the cells of a same module, we have constructed an energy yield evaluation model for a standard 60-cell PV module illuminated at 1000 W/m2 and calculated the power output for (1) a uniform heat transfer coefficient over the module, and (2) a realistic distribution of the heat transfer coefficient based on the wind tunnel experiments. Differences up to 4.3% have been observed, indicating that local variations in temperature within a PV module need to be taken into account for accurate energy yield evaluations. Using this improved modelling, the absolute errors remaining in the E-yield estimations can be reduced. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Goverde H.,ESAT ELECTA KU Leuven | Goverde H.,IMEC | Goossens D.,Catholic University of Leuven | Govaerts J.,IMEC | And 7 more authors.
Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments | Year: 2015

Numerous models have been developed to predict the power output of photovoltaic (PV) systems as a function of insolation and ambient conditions. However, the effect of wind on module temperature, and hence performance, is only poorly incorporated into these models, and spatially distributed and (fast-varying) transient wind effects have not yet been studied in detail. In this paper, spatial distribution of temperature over a 156. ×. 156. mm PV mini-module is studied together with fine-time-scale temporal evolution. Tests were performed on a 2. ×. 3 mini-module mounted in a wind tunnel. Results show that the temperature differences can amount to 21. °C and more, depending on the wind speed and the location on the module. Apart from cooling caused by heat convection, a temperature increase generated by wind friction also occurs at the module's surface although it remains very low compared to the cooling caused by convection. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Loading ESAT ELECTA KU Leuven collaborators
Loading ESAT ELECTA KU Leuven collaborators