Energy Conversion and Management, Vol.108, 287-296, 2016
Water spray cooling technique applied on a photovoltaic panel: The performance response
This paper presents an alternative cooling technique for photovoltaic (PV) panels that includes a water spray application over panel surfaces. An alternative cooling technique in the sense that both sides of the PV panel were cooled simultaneously, to investigate the total water spray cooling effect on the PV panel performance in circumstances of peak solar irradiation levels. A specific experimental setup was elaborated in detail and the developed cooling system for the PV panel was tested in a geographical location with a typical Mediterranean climate. The experimental result shows that it is possible to achieve a maximal total increase of 16.3% (effective 7.7%) in electric power output and a total increase of 14.1% (effective 5.9%) in PV panel electrical efficiency by using the proposed cooling technique in circumstances of peak solar irradiation. Furthermore, it was also possible to decrease panel temperature from an average 54 degrees C (non-cooled PV panel) to 24 degrees C in the case of simultaneous front and backside PV panel cooling. Economic feasibility was also determined for of the proposed water spray cooling technique, where the main advantage of the analyzed cooling technique is regarding the PV panel's surface and its self-cleaning effect, which additionally acts as a booster to the average delivered electricity. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.