Titanium oxide nanofluid-based cooling technique for PV panels


Researchers from India’s Aligarh Muslim University and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia have developed a prototype PV module featuring a titanium oxide nanofluid-based cooling technique.

The cooling system consists of an assembled back-channel attached on the rear side of the panel, through which a melt of titanium oxide and water can flow. The fluid flow tubes are placed between the module backsheet and a tube insulation layer and all of them are applied onto a channel base.

“The lower side of the tubes is adequately insulated to avoid extracted heat loss,” the researchers said.

The proposed technique was tested in a PV system with multilevel inverter topology for a PV-thermal co-generation unit. The system was simulated for 1,000 W/m2 insolation. The scientists used a concentration of nanofluid of 0.6%, which they considered an optimum value of nanoparticle concentration in water, as there is a chance for particles to agglomerate if a higher concentration is used.

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“Hence, the intended purpose of nanofluid failed as thermal conductivity decreases in that scenario,” the researchers said.

They compared the temperature of the panel to that of similar panels with air or water flowing through the tubes. They found that the operating temperature of the panel with the titanium oxide nanofluid fell significantly. They said the nanofluid-based panel had an average operating temperature of 52 C, while the airflow panel had a temperature of 71 C. The one based on water flow came in at 61.2 C.

The scientists describe their research in “Efficiency improvement of the solar PV-system using nanofluid and developed inverter topology,” which was recently published in Energy Sources.

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