Phase change material based cooling of photovoltaic panel: A simplified numerical model for the optimization of the phase change material layer and general economic evaluation

ARICI M. , BİLGİN F., NIZETIC S., Papadopoulos A. M.

JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION, vol.189, pp.738-745, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 189
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.04.057
  • Page Numbers: pp.738-745
  • Keywords: Photovoltaics, PCM, Solar energy, Passive cooling, Numerical modelling, LCOE, ENERGY-STORAGE, TEMPERATURE, PERFORMANCE, SYSTEM, EFFICIENCY, PCM


This paper deals with the application of PCM as the assumed coolant in the case of photovoltaic applications. A simplified numerical model was developed to be able to analyze the expected efficiency improvement of a PV-PCM system as well as the expected reduction of the PV panel's operating temperature. The developed model was validated with the available experimental data from existing literature with maximal deviation ranging from 1% to 3.1%. Different PCM5 with different melting temperatures and latent heat fusion were examined to identify the suitable PCM for the PV panel for the given climatic conditions. It was found that the application of a PCM material is reasonable from a technical point of view, as it reduces the PV panel operating temperature by up to 10.26 degrees C and thus increases the efficiency by up to 3.73%. The economic aspect application of the PCM material for the PV-PCM based cooling was also addressed. It was found that a significant decrease in the initial price of the PCM material is necessary to ensure a more feasible LCOE. The herein obtained analysis showed therefore, that a PCM material could be a promising option for PV-PCM applications provided a significant drop in PCM's costs coupled with an efficient thermal management of the PV-PCM system. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.