Radiation effects in dual heat sinks for cooling of concentrated photovoltaics
Brandau, Mark T.
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This thesis experimentally and numerically examined the effectiveness of improving the cooling of concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) through the use of dual heat sinks. The intent was to improve heat transfer by radiation to lower the operating temperature of the CPV system, and therefore increase the power output. Experimental and numerical results were obtained for multiple configurations to determine the effect of increased emissivity of the sink to reject heat to a ground-based sink and the effect of lowering ground temperature. Experimental results indicated that a properly constructed pin fin sink could improve heat transfer and lower operating temperature at near horizontal angles of inclination of the CPV panel. However, numerical modeling with conditions more closely matching the intended application indicates that dual heat sinks interfere with natural convection sufficiently to reduce cooling and therefore efficiency. Evaluation of these results will provide insight to improve the cooling of CPV systems and improve the power output.
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