An Experimental Study on Cooling the Photovoltaic Modules by Fins to Improve Power Generation: Economic Assessment

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jundi-Shapur University of Technology, Dezful, Iran

2 Department of Chemical Engineering, Jundi-Shapur University of Technology, Dezful, Iran


Photovoltaic (PV) power plant is one of the most important renewable power generation methods, which is rapidly developing. One of the weak points of PV power plants is the negative effects of increasing the cells temperature on their power generation. In this study, a simple and low cost method is proposed to reduce the temperature of these panels. The use of fins has been proven in many industrial applications and here it is used as coolant of PV panel. This experiment was performed in maximum operating temperature of photovoltaic modules which is known as 85°C. By using numbers of aluminum fins on the back surface of photovoltaic panels under two different irradiation, the temperature reduction up to 7.4 °C was observed, and this reduction leads to 2.72 % increasing in efficiency. Finally, an economical assessment of the offered cases based on output power of PV panels carried out, which shows a suitable economic justifiability.


 1.     G. Boligán Rojas, R. Lorenzo Ávila Rondon, A. Carolina Meléndez Gurrola, Mechanical Engineering Design Theory Framework for Solar Desalination Processes: A Review and Meta-Analysis, Iranian Journal of Energy and Environment; previously called: Iranica Journal of Energy & Environment, 9(2), (2018), 137-145.
2.     S. Dubey, G. Tiwari, Thermal modeling of a combined system of photovoltaic thermal (PV/T) solar water heater, Solar energy, 82(7), (2008), 602-612.
3.     C. Arkar, S. Medved, Free cooling of a building using PCM heat storage integrated into the ventilation system, Solar Energy, 81(9), (2007), 1078-1087.
4.     S. Yadav, V.P. Chandramohan, Numerical Analysis on Thermal Energy Storage Device With Finned Copper Tube for an Indirect Type Solar Drying System, Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, 140(3), (2018), 031009-031013.
5.     E. Skoplaki, J.A. Palyvos, On the temperature dependence of photovoltaic module electrical performance: A review of efficiency/power correlations, Solar energy, 83(5), (2009), 614-624.
6.     M. Chandrasekar, S. Rajkumar, D. Valavan, A review on the thermal regulation techniques for non integrated flat PV modules mounted on building top, Energy and Buildings, 86, (2015), 692-697.
7.     S. Aberoumand, S. Ghamari, B. Shabani, Energy and exergy analysis of a photovoltaic thermal (PV/T) system using nanofluids: An experimental study, Solar Energy, 165, (2018), 167-177.
8.     M. Firoozzadeh, A.H. Shiravi, M. Shafiee, Experimental Study on Photovoltaic Cooling System Integrated With Carbon Nano Fluid, Journal of Solar Energy Research, 3(4), (2018), 287-292.
9.     M. Ghadiri, M. Sardarabadi, M. Pasandideh-fard, A.J. Moghadam, Experimental investigation of a PVT system performance using nano ferrofluids, Energy Conversion and Management, 103, (2015), 468-476.
10.  M. Huang, P. Eames, B. Norton, Phase change materials for limiting temperature rise in building integrated photovoltaics, Solar Energy, 80(9), (2006), 1121-1130.
11.  P.H. Biwole, P. Eclache, F. Kuznik, Phase-change materials to improve solar panel's performance, Energy and Buildings, 62, (2013), 59-67.
12.  M. Firoozzadeh, A.H. Shiravi, M. Shafiee, Experimental and Analytical Study on Enhancing the Efficiency of the Photovoltaic Panels by Using the Polyethylene-Glycol 600 (PEG 600) as a Phase Change Material, Iranian Journal of Energy and Environment; previously called: Iranica Journal of Energy & Environment, 10(1), (2019), 23-32.
13.  R. Thaib, S. Rizal, Hamdani, T.M.I. Mahlia, N.A. Pambudi, Experimental analysis of using beeswax as phase change materials for limiting temperature rise in building integrated photovoltaics, Case Studies in Thermal Engineering, 12, (2018), 223-227.
14.  P. Atkin, M.M. Farid, Improving the efficiency of photovoltaic cells using PCM infused graphite and aluminium fins, Solar Energy, 114, (2015), 217-228.
15.  S. Khanna, K.S. Reddy, T.K. Mallick, Optimization of finned solar photovoltaic phase change material (finned pv pcm) system, International Journal of Thermal Sciences, 130, (2018), 313-322.
16.  H. Bahaidarah, A. Subhan, P. Gandhidasan, S. Rehman, Performance evaluation of a PV (photovoltaic) module by back surface water cooling for hot climatic conditions, Energy, 59, (2013), 445-453.
17.  S. Krauter, Increased electrical yield via water flow over the front of photovoltaic panels, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 82(1), (2004), 131-137.
18.  T.T. Chow, W. He, J. Ji, An experimental study of façade-integrated photovoltaic/water-heating system, Applied Thermal Engineering, 27(1), (2007), 37-45.
19.  H.-L. Tsai, Design and Evaluation of a Photovoltaic/Thermal-Assisted Heat Pump Water Heating System, Energies, 7(5), (2014), 3319-3338.
20.  R. Kumar, M.A. Rosen, Performance evaluation of a double pass PV/T solar air heater with and without fins, Applied Thermal Engineering, 31(8), (2011), 1402-1410.
21.  G. Mittelman, A. Alshare, J.H. Davidson, A model and heat transfer correlation for rooftop integrated photovoltaics with a passive air cooling channel, Solar Energy, 83(8), (2009), 1150-1160.
22.  J.-H. Kim, J.-G. Ahn, J.-T. Kim, Demonstration of the performance of an air-type photovoltaic thermal (PVT) system coupled with a heat-recovery ventilator, Energies, 9(9), (2016), 728-742.
23.  A. Makki, S. Omer, Y. Su, H. Sabir, Numerical investigation of heat pipe-based photovoltaic–thermoelectric generator (HP-PV/TEG) hybrid system, Energy conversion and management, 112, (2016), 274-287.
24.  J. Skovajsa, M. Koláček, M. Zálešák, Phase Change Material Based Accumulation Panels in Combination with Renewable Energy Sources and Thermoelectric Cooling, Energies, 10(2), (2017), 152-170.
25.          G. Li, X. Chen, Y. Jin, Analysis of the Primary Constraint Conditions of an Efficient Photovoltaic-Thermoelectric Hybrid System, Energies, 10(1), (2017), 20-31.