ELECTRICITY GENERATION PERFORMANCE TEST OF BARE AND COOLED PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS
The solar electricity generation ability of a solar panel drops significantly below the nominal efficiency values as a result of higher operating temperature particular in hot location. The drop in efficiency of solar panels can be enhanced by convectively cooling the solar panel surface temperature using water or air. This paper reports the comparative electric generation performances of two identical photovoltaic panels of nominal electric power rating of 60 W with efficiency of 12% and photon absorption area of 0.945 m × 0.55 m. The tests were conducted by exposing both panels to the sun in parallel, one panel bare (non-cooled) and the other being cooled for three cases of cooling arrangements: continuous water cooling, intermittent water cooling or continuous air cooling. The electric generation performance was determined in terms of electric power output and efficiency after measuring surface temperatures, voltages, and currents of both solar panels from 9 am up to 3 pm. The electric power output and electrical efficiency of the bare and the cooled solar panels were compared with each other. The electric generation ability of the continuously water cooled solar panel was better than the other two cooling mechanism. The day average electric power generated and efficiency increment of 17.02 and 13.33 %, respectively were achieved by the continuously water-cooled solar panel compared to the bare.
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