Numerical modelling of phase-change material used for PV panels cooling
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Passive cooling of a PV solar panel using phase-change material (PCM) may play an important role in increasing efficiency of PV cells. Because it does not need a maintenance and does not release greenhouses gases, PCM seems to be a good way to decrease the among of overheating of PV cell. The aims of this paper describes a detailed multiphysical issue in order to understand the effect of PCM (RT25) in keeping PV cell temperature close to ambient. The study is focused on modeling the heat and mass transfer in a PCM domain by modifying the buoyancy term in momentum equation. Due to a phase-change and free convection, transient incompressible flow is taken into account to explain the dynamic variations of the velocity profile and viscosity distribution. With standard condition of irradiation and heat flux on both sides of the PV panel, a melt front has been tracked by the energy equation, which gives a good argument for the temperature evolution during phase-change.
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