Paper Conference

Proceedings of BSO Conference 2022: 6th Conference of IBPSA-England


Performance evaluation of Phase Change Materials for cooling Photovoltaics and enhancing efficiency

Sanober Khattak 1, Shivangi Sharma 2, Siliang Yang 3
1 De Montfort University
2 Birmingham University
3 Leeds Beckett University

Abstract: Despite the carbon reduction potential of Photovoltaics (PV) for buildings energy use, its adoption in the residential sector is limited. For effective building integration, it is crucial that PV panels operate close to the standard conditions (~25°C). Overheating of PV in hot climates leads to low PV efficiencies, which can adversely affect the technology adoption. In this study, the effectiveness of Phase Change Materials (PCM) in reducing panel surface temperatures of Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) in the Global South (GS) is explored. Utilising lab-based experimental data from a CPV-PCM system, and a co-simulation approach using the software BCVTB, MATLAB (v2018b) and EnergyPlus (v8.8), the panel surface temperature and CPV efficiency were simulated. A total of 128 locations across 17 countries in the GS were identified for simulation that satisfied the following conditions: (i) EnergyPlus weather files (.epw) availability, (ii) yearly averaged diurnal swing greater than 10°C, and (iii) peak summer temperature in excess of 25°C. From the results, we identified 36 locations in the GS where PCM integrated PV resulted in a 2% - 7% relatively improved annual average efficiency over the non-PCM baseline, while in the remaining 92 locations PCMs either did not make a notable improvement or reduced the efficiency.
Keywords: PV efficiency, Phase change materials, Solar energy, Net Zero, Global South