Investigation of pork fat as potential novel phase change material for passive cooling applications in photovoltaics


NIZETIC S., ARICI M. , BİLGİN F., GRUBISIC-CABO F.

JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION, vol.170, pp.1006-1016, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 170
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.09.164
  • Title of Journal : JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION
  • Page Numbers: pp.1006-1016
  • Keywords: Photovoltaics, PCM, Pork fat, Numerical investigation, Passive cooling, LCOE, BUILDING INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAICS, MODULE TEMPERATURE, THERMAL REGULATION, ENHANCEMENT, ENERGY, PERFORMANCE, SYSTEMS, PANELS, CELLS

Abstract

This paper considers pork fat as a novel potential phase change material (PCM) for photovoltaic applications. The PV-PCM configuration was numerically analysed in order to investigate the main performance parameters and its general thermal behaviour regarding passive cooled photovoltaic panels (a simplified one-dimensional finite difference code was applied for the numerical investigation). Two specific PV-PCM systems were compared (convectional organic PCM and pork fat), i.e. their performance response was examined by applying the simplified numerical model. Performance analysis was obtained for specific geographical location with Mediterranean climate conditions (City of Split, Croatia). The obtained results showed that there is no significant difference in performance benefit when the two considered PV-PCM systems are compared. The difference in annual simulated electricity delivery is negligible when comparing the PV-PCM systems, i.e. it was slightly less for the PV-pork fat configuration. The previous finding was important as it proved that pork fat has potential from a performance point of view. A general economic aspect was also addressed in order to check the pork fat's economic viability as a PCM material. It was found that in order to get reasonable LCOE (Levelized Cost of Electricity), the pork fat unit price should be below 0.50 (sic)/kg for specific considered case. Regarding the current market price of pork fat, the considered passive cooling option is currently not economically viable for the general given circumstances. However, economic viability could be established in the case of active cooling configurations where waste heat could be utilized and which could lead to a more favourable LCOE. The main issue with pork fat is one related to the long-term degradation of its physical properties which certainly requires intense further experimental investigation. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.