Scientists at the Universiti Sains Malaysia have developed a novel methodology to evaluate the effectiveness of solar module cooling technologies based on their lifespan. “The relation between the lifespan of PV and its cooler is not discussed in previous studies which are analyzing only the separate systems either the lifespan of the PV or the cooler,” they specified, noting that a performance comparison between the different types of cooling technology is not an easy task to accomplish.
The researchers defined a new parameter – the PV cooler lifespan effectiveness factor – which they claim makes it easier to carry out the above-mentioned performance comparison. It defines the ratio of the lifespan of the cooling system to the lifespan of the PV array.
They warned that the proposed methodology should be utilized only with standard test conditions, a temperature of 25 C, and a reference PV system without the cooling system. “The lifespan of the material depends on weather conditions which are different from one region to another,” they explained. “Hence, the value of the PV cooler lifespan effectiveness factor will be different. This could be a limitation of the proposed method.”
Their analysis showed that there is a proportional relationship between the lifespan of the cooling system and the new factor, as well as an inverse proportional correlation between the PV lifespan and the new factor. “The PV cooler is considered to be a lifespan effective, if the lifespan effectiveness factor is greater than zero and lesser than or equals to unity,” the academics stated, referring to the scale they created to measure the effectiveness factor.
They described their findings in the paper “A new method for assessing photovoltaic module cooler based on lifespan effectiveness factor,” which was recently published in Cases Studies in Thermal Engineering. “This factor may have an implication of the classification and the decision on the PV cooler types,” they concluded.
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