Incorporation of phase changing materials (PCMs) with solar cells
Projektarbete, avancerad nivå
Lizzmatz van de Laak, Marion
The increased use and scale of solar Photo-voltaic (PV) systems area increasing in the world and so are the global temperatures. As PV cells are heated, the cells lose efficiency due to a decrease in energy bandgap. Passive cooling using PCMs may counteract this effect and improve the PVs electrical power output. This report aims to investigate PV-PCM systems by performing an experimental labotary set-up and by reviewing existing theoretical models. The conducted experiment could not with any scientific certainty identify a difference although a 3.6 % increase using PCM would be observed in some instances. The theoretical model, using a day in Gothenburg with a simplified heat flux model, resulted in a 5.3 % increase in total power production during the day. While no part holds any real scientific value on its own, the results do indicate to some degree that a PV-PCM system can improve the output and further experiment and researched should be conducted to determine these effect. Finally, the report aims to reflect on the potential impact that PCMs have on the environment and the existing challenges that prevent the technology from reaching commercial scalability.